By Myrna M. Velasco
Consumers will have to wade through another round of price hikes at the pumps with gasoline prices rising by P0.70 per liter; and diesel prices increasing by P0.30 per liter.
The other major commodity kerosene will also have upward adjustment of P0.40 per liter this week, according to the pricing notices sent by the oil companies.
As of press time, the oil firms that already announced cost adjustments had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation; Cleanfuel, Seaoil, PetroGazz, PTT and Chevron effective Tuesday (June 30); while the rest of the industry players are anticipated to follow.
Since prices have started climbing back in May, the overall cost swings of gasoline incurred the biggest increase of nearly P10 per liter to-date; diesel still at a leaner P5.75 per liter; and kerosene had gone higher by P8.50 per liter.
Meanwhile, Filipino households and key establishments are in for a bit of good news as the price of liquefied petroleum prices (LPG) is estimated to be on a rollback of P0.40 per kilogram starting July 1.
That will be P4.40 aggregate price cut for the standard 11-kilogam cylinder, which is the typical size used for cooking.
At the intensity of the lockdowns in March and April, global oil prices plummeted to the level of US$20 per barrel; and that also precipitated drastic downswing in prices in the domestic oil market.
On those periods, however, Filipino motorists were not able to benefit from the low prices because most were confined at home in line with the government’s goal to stem the spread of coronavirus infections in the country.
But as the Philippine economy reopens, roads are back with extreme traffic dilemmas and prices at the oil pumps also started surging.
From crashing prices that decimated the oil companies’ bottom lines, industry players are anticipating a recovery in the remaining months of the year as experts also forecast a return of the oil prices to the level of US$50 to US$60 per barrel through the end of the year.
Despite the industry’s dilemma, the Philippine oil sector still turned up to be a ‘redeeming tract’ for the State through the imposition of higher import duty so it can raise part of the cash that it can funnel into its Covid-19 stimulus package.