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‘Brace for big-time LPG price hike’

Consumers are facing another round of big time price hike for cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) of P3.65 per kilogram in November due to the higher LPG contract price in the oil market.

“As of yesterday, the contract price or international price of LPG based on Saudi Aramco pricing is up by $65 per metric ton or equivalent to P3.65 per kg price increase,” Arnel Ty of the LPG Marketers Association said.

He said the projection might still change and LPG prices might be higher by the end of the year, based on the trajectory of world market prices.

In October, oil firms raised the price of LPG by around P7.36 per kilo which was implemented in two tranches.

The move comes as pump prices are seen to go up for the ninth consecutive week next week. 

The Department of Energy has monitored a possible P1 per liter increase in petroleum products as of Wednesday.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in an interview with ANC the government was seeking an amendment to the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998 and allowing the government to go into retail oil trading. 

“The amendment to give us more authority in cases like this and participation of the government back to oil trading,” Cusi said.

Cusi gave assurances there was enough oil supply domestically but called for more fuel discounts to the public transport.

Cusi, however, said the government could not suspend the implementation of the excise tax as the provision for suspension had expired.

Some sectors are seeking a two-week suspension of the excise tax to ease the burden of the public.

“We need the law to do that. We have studied that, what we can do within the legal framework...The President cannot do that through an EO (executive order),” the energy chief said.

He said the excise tax was used by the government for the fight against COVID-19 but assured the government was looking at ways to mitigate the impact of the high oil prices to consumers.

Cusi is hoping oil prices will be tempered once the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries increases its production.

Meanwhile, an opposition leader in the House of Representatives renewed his appeal to Congress to prioritize the enactment of measures seeking to regulate the downstream oil industry.

Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said “with today’s big time oil price hike, it is imperative that the downstream oil industry be again placed under regulation to protect our much burdened consumers,”

“The increase has added a total of P8.65 a liter to diesel pump prices. Since the start of 2021, diesel has seen a net increase of P18 a liter. Gasoline prices now totaled P7.20 a liter. Gasoline also saw a net increase of P19.70 a liter since the start of the year. This is too much especially since many consumers are now jobless and others are under employed,” said the Davao-based solon.

“Deregulation has allowed oil price increases to go unchecked. With petroleum as a sensitive commodity, because price directly affects the cost of almost all other commodities and services, including essentials such as food, housing, social services, as well as transportation, deregulation has given transnational oil corporations even more leeway to influence the country’s cost of living, livelihoods, business and commerce, employment, and the National Budget,” he added.

Topics: oil price hike , liquefied petroleum gas , Arnel Ty , LPG Marketers Association
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