Paychecks of Filipino consumers will be squeezed further as fuel products start adjustments of P1.15 per liter for gasoline and P0.45 per liter for diesel, as announced by the oil companies.

The price of kerosene, another commodity which is essential for household and relevant industries like aviation, will also increase by P0.55 per liter, according to the industry players.

So far, oil companies that already sent notices on their upward price adjustments effective Tuesday, Oct. 26, include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, Seaoil, PetroGazz, Chevron and PTT Philippines; while all of their rival-firms are anticipated to follow.

The new round of price upswings are based on the outcome of last week’s trading in the international market – and one cost-movement anchor they have been latching on is Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), especially for the players that are importing finished petroleum products.

If reckoned from the start of the year, this latest round of price climbs will already bring gasoline price adjustments to aggregate P20.80 per liter; diesel prices have gone higher by P18.45 per liter; while kerosene prices already escalated by P16.04 per liter.

As it stands today, it appears that there is no end in sight yet on when global oil prices will ‘calm’ in markets, as the opening of trading on Monday (October 25) showed that international benchmark Brent crude swelled further to more than US$86 per barrel, higher than what it settled at the past week at US$85 per barrel.

The relentless upticks in oil prices have already been seriously hurting the spending power of Filipino consumers, especially so since many are still trying to survive the financial doldrums caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

And given that oil is a heavily taxed sector, proposals are already being advanced to temporarily scrap excise taxes and value added tax (VAT) for petroleum commodities, but this has yet to be heeded by relevant government agencies.

Some lawmakers, in particular, are proposing that instead of implementing wholesale suspension of oil taxes collection, the deferment shall instead be targeted – especially for the public transport sector because it is the most vulnerable in the never-ending pump price hikes.

There is also a proposal from the Department of Energy (DOE) to extend subsidy to the public utility vehicles (PUVs), but the mechanisms for that as well as budget allocation are still being fleshed out.

Source: Manila Bulletin (