Local oil firms hike fuel pricesBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Local oil companies have raised prices of petroleum products starting Monday, after lifting the “price freeze” they implemented last week.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Total Philippines have jacked up raised prices of premium gasoline by P1.80 per liter, regular gasoline by P1.70 a liter, kerosene by P1.60 a liter and of diesel by P1.50 per liter, effective Monday morning, while independent player Eastern Petroleum also implemented a similar price hike effective (Tuesday). Other oil companies are expected to follow suit, but have not issued their respective advisories as of press time.
This new round of increases will be implemented only within the areas affected by last week’s price freeze namely Metro Manila and portions of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan.
Prior to the price freeze, diesel products in these areas were selling for P39.38 a liter to P43.99 a liter, while gasoline products retailed for P49 a liter to P56.57 a liter.
As of August 14, the year-to-date net increase in the price of gasoline in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces stood at P1.43 a liter, while the net decrease in the price diesel was at P1.68 a liter.
Oil companies had decided to implement a price freeze last week in the wake of the devastation wrought by the torrential rains and massive flooding of the “habagat” or southwest monsoon.
Sources however said that oil companies are eyeing to implement another round of price hikes later this week to reflect meanwhile the uptrend in global oil prices last week. It should be noted that the price hike implemented starting Monday reflected the global uptrend two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna party list Representative Teddy Casiño had urged the government anew to mitigate the price shock of these increases by reducing the value added tax on oil to 6 percent from the current 12 percent.
“Even if the industry is deregulated, the government can do something to mitigate prices by reducing the taxes on oil, specifically the VAT, just like they do in other countries that have lower VAT rates for basic utilities and products,” Casiño said in a statement issued yesterday.
Casiño also tagged the oil companies as “cruel” “because people in Luzon are still recovering from the other week’s massive flood and all oil companies are thinking of is how to jack up their profits.”
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