Unioil bares P2 price hike; demand rises

The oil companies are expected to raise pump prices by more than P2 per liter starting this week to reflect the movement of oil prices in the world market.

READ: Oil price decline likely pulled down April inflation to as low as 1.9%

“Expect fuel prices to go up next week [starting May 12]. Diesel should increase by more than P2 and Gasoline should increase by more than P2,” Unioil Philippines said in its advisory.

The higher pump prices are expected as a result of optimism as many countries have started to ease on their respective COVID-19 lockdowns, thus spurring oil demand.

But a former Anakpawis Party-list representative on Sunday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order increasing the tariff on imported oil by 10 percent, saying it will add to the burden of the poor families affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ariel Casilao says the social amelioration assistance to the poor amounts to no more than P8,000, but that will now be eroded by the domino-effect of the price increases to be triggered by the executive order.

“A significant part of the financial assistance obviously will go to taxes,” Casilao said.

He claimed the regressive taxes were immoral and inhumane, as it was clear that the poor sectors had zero purchasing power due to the absence of sources of livelihood due to the lockdown.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have started implementing a daily production cut of 10 million barrels per day, which has been followed by other oil producers such as Norway, Canada and America to boost prices.

The anticipated oil price increase this week will not include the impact of the additional 10 percent import duty on crude petroleum and refined products that should translate to an increase of more than P1 per liter.

Malacañang issued Executive Order No. 113 on May 2 imposing an additional 10 percent duty on imported oil to boost the government’s budget and ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 5, the oil companies implemented an increase of P0.75 per liter of gasoline, although the prices of diesel and kerosene went down by P0.10 and P0.60 per liter, respectively.

That brought the total year-to-date price adjustments to a net decrease of P14.52 per liter of gasoline, P16.99 per liter of diesel and P22.50 per liter of kerosene, according to the Energy department.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had urged the Energy department to further extend the price freeze on liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene products until the state of national emergency has been totally lifted to ease the financial burden of consumers.

Gatchalian made the call after the oil companies raised the price of LPG by more than P5 per kilogram on May 1 due to its higher contract price for May in the international market.

READ: Seaoil extends fuel discounts to frontliners until May 15

READ: Oil price strikes 2002 low, as demand set to crash

Topics: Unioil Philippines , Diesel , Gasoline , Department of Energy , COVID-19 , Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries , Sherwin Gatchalian
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