Oil companies are set to implement another round of fuel price increases next week, industry observers said.
A GMA News Online report, citing an industry source, said that based on oil trading in the past four days, the price per liter of diesel is projected to increase by P2.40 to P2.70, while gasoline prices could rise by P0.60 to P0.90 per liter.
Oil Industry Management Bureau Director Rino Abad earlier cited the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production by 2 million barrels, given the decline in oil prices following interest rate hikes in the United States.
The International Energy Agency said the recent decision of the OPEC+ coalition to cut oil production drove prices up and could bring the global economy into recession, according to a report by Reuters.
Last Tuesday, oil firms increased the prices per liter of gasoline by P1.20, diesel by P6.85, and kerosene by P3.50. The increases reversed the impact of smaller price rollbacks in previous weeks.
Senator Risa Hontiveros meanwhile urged the government to hasten the rollout of renewable energy projects in the Philippines.
The senator, a known supporter of renewable energy, made the statement Friday after local oil companies declared hikes in pump prices, due to drastic cuts in production announced by the OPEC + coalition.
“The present situation only shows how vulnerable our nation is to oil price shocks. If nothing is changed, we will always be at the mercy of the market and its most influential players. We need to hasten the rollout of renewable energy projects that would benefit our people,” Hontiveros said.
She explained that at present, the Philippines makes use of imported oil for a sizable part of its energy needs. Hontiveros said this makes the country a “repeat victim” of changes and disruptions in global market prices of petroleum products.
“By investing more in renewable energy projects such as solar, offshore wind, small and medium hydroelectric, and geothermal projects, we will be doing much to lessen our dependence on imported oil,” she said.
Hontiveros noted that during the recent hearing on the annual budget of the Department of Energy (DOE) and affiliated agencies, energy officials led by DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla agreed with the need to implement reforms that will drive investments into local renewable energy projects and technologies.
At the hearing, Hontiveros also pressed the DOE, as well as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other agencies for faster and more effective implementation of the nationwide electric vehicle program, and to iron out problems preventing the wider adoption of “non-gas guzzling” vehicles in the country.
Hontiveros also urged her colleagues in the Senate to support her proposed Senate Bill No. 378 or the Solar Home System Financing for Social Housing Program Act, which aims to provide impoverished families in socialized housing sites easy access to solar energy technology and its benefits.