Gasoline price on upswing, Unioil says

Oil companies are expected to raise the price of gasoline by P0.80 to P0.90 per liter next week to reflect the movement of world prices.

Diesel prices, however, is forecasted to remain the same.

“Expect gasoline to increase next week. Diesel should remain the same and gasoline should increase by P0.80-P0.90. Load up accordingly,” Unioil Philippines said in its weekly advisory.

On March 5, the oil firms cut the price of kerosene by P0.35 per liter and diesel by  P0.10 per liter but raised the price of gasoline by P0.10 per liter.

The Department of Energy said oil prices fell last week amid weakening factory output in China and Japan and record US crude output, although the markets remained relatively well supported by supply cuts led by OPEC producers and some non-affiliated producers like Russia who agreed late last year to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day to prop up prices. 

READ: Oil price rollback minimal

“Demand from China and Japan weakened. Activities of Chinese factories declined, followed by the second biggest economy in Asia, which is Japan. America has ample supply and there is also an impact from the slowdown of India activity,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said previously.

Year-to-date adjustments now stand at P3.75 per liter for gasoline, P4.35 per liter for diesel and P0.35 per liter for kerosene, according to the latest monitoring report of the DOE.

Gasoline prices in Metro Manila currently range from P45.25 to P60.89 per liter and diesel from P41.40 to P50.23 per liter. 

READ: Oil players hike prices by 70c/liter

Meanwhile, DOE will issue the circular governing the monitoring and unbundling of prices of petroleum products within the month, a move geared towards price transparency in oil prices, officials said.

Fuentebella said the rules are currently being finalized but assured that it will be issued in March and hopefully then signed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

“It will have to [be issued] because many do not understand the Oil Deregulation Law and also consider other issues such as biofuels, taxes,” Fuentebella said.

“This is a way to address industry take,” he said, adding that oil companies will have to compete in terms of services and prices while consumers have the power of choice which oil company to patronize.

DOE wants to unbundle oil price components including the industry take or profits of the oil companies. 

The oil industry is presently deregulated, which means any movement in oil prices does not require prior government or regulatory approval.

He said DOE is also still reviewing the reports of the oil companies including their position papers to avoid any “legalities.” 

Under the circular which shall be known as the Guidelines for the Monitoring of Prices on the Sale of Petroleum Products by the Downstream Oil Industry in the Philippines, oil companies are required to unbundle and provide an explanation for the oil price adjustment.

“Oil companies shall strictly comply with the submission of the formal notice of price adjustments per liter for liquid fuels and per kilogram of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as required in Section 2, containing the computation and the corresponding explanation of the unbundled cost items of all products subject for sale,” the draft circular stated.

The circular shall apply to all persons or entities engaged in any or all of the activities covered under Section 5, Chapter 2 of Republic Act No. 8749, specifically on the sale of gasoline, automotive and industrial diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, bunker fuel oil and household and automotive LPG.

The oil companies shall be required to submit to the DOE the breakdown of its price movement which includes product cost, freight cost, insurance, foreign exchange rate, duties, taxes, biofuel cost and industry take. 

It said retail outlets shall also submit if required, its computations with corresponding explanation of the retailer’s price of all petroleum sold in a specified period including product cost, hauler’s fee, taxes and retailer’s take.  

The circular also stated that the DOE secretary can make public from time to time portions of information obtained under the circular in times of public interest, submissions to Congress, submit recommendations for additional legislations, and publication of reports and decisions “in any manner as may be best adapted for public information and use.”

However, the same circular stated that the secretary cannot make public any trade secret or any commercial or financial information obtained which is privileged or confidential. 

DOE said the unbundled price requirement shall remain as a continuing requirement of the downstream oil industry and strict compliance is required.

READ: Pump price hikes fuel bid for oil tax freeze

READ: PH net oil imports rise 31% to $12.1 billion

Topics: Unioil Philippines , Department of Energy , Felix William Fuentebella , Oil Deregulation Law
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