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Oil firms implement price cut



Motorists and consumers are up for a relief, albeit minimal, starting Tuesday after oil companies announced slight cuts in the pump prices of petroleum products.

In separate announcements on Monday, oil firms said diesel prices declined by P3.10 per liter, gasoline by P0.40 per liter, and kerosene by P2.10 per liter after a week of hefty price hikes.

Oil companies announce price adjustments every Monday to be implemented on the following day’s morning. They adjust their prices every week based on the movement of the MOPS— the regional pricing benchmark adopted by the deregulated downstream oil sector.

Being a net importer of oil, importers and even the government cannot assure motorists of a continued oil price deduction because the country is directly affected by the volatility in the international market.

Data from the Department of Energy (DoE) as of 10 May showed that the year-to-date adjustments of fuel prices stood at a net increase of P34.50 per liter for diesel, P22.00 per liter for gasoline, and P29.75 per liter for kerosene.

As a new administration prepares to take over the Rodrigo Duterte regime, industry stakeholders are hoping that the persisting high prices of fuel will be tempered.

Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., had already signified his willingness to lower the commodity prices.

In an online event during the campaign season, Marcos said he preferred to slash the excise tax on fuel instead of pursuing his previous pronouncement to give out fuel subsidies.

“So my approach would be to continue to collect the excise tax but provide an oil subsidy so that anybody who is using oil-related products will feel the effect,” Marcos said.

Marcos noted that many will be “left behind” if the proposed P200 monthly assistance is pushed through because of the “imperfect” system of distribution of financial assistance.

He said that there should be an oil subsidy provision, but the government is already doing that — particularly for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers affected by the fuel price increase.