DOE hopes for lower fuel price adjustments in next two months


The Department of Energy (DOE), led by Secretary Alfonso Cusi, is hoping for lower price adjustments in local pump prices in the next two months.

“Based on indication, the fundamentals that we are seeing, hinde po mangyayari,” Cusi said when asked in a television interview if the agency sees another P7 per liter increase across all petroleum products until the end of the year.

Pump prices have increased for eighth straight weeks. Since oil firms adjusted gasoline price last August 31, this has gone up to P7.20 per liter while diesel shot up by P8.65 per liter. Kerosene also increased by P8.05 per liter for the past eight weeks.

If excise taxes in petrol products are suspended, Cusi said, motorists could save P8 to P10 in fuel prices.  “That suggestion is okay but we need a law to do that,” said Cusi.

The energy chief assured that the country has enough fuel supply and that the oil firms are in compliance with the Minimum Inventory Requirements (MIR) under Department Circular 2003-01-001.

The circular states that all oil companies, except refiners operating in the country, and bulk suppliers maintain a minimum inventory equivalent to 15 days worth of petroleum products’ supply, except for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Oil refiners are required to maintain MIR equivalent to 30 days worth of supply, consisting of petroleum crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Also a seven-days worth of supply must be maintained for LPG.

“We are making sure there is enough inventory to last us for a month without importing,” he said.

The Philippines utilizes the equivalent of 425,000 barrels/day, which is around 0.4 percent of the world supply.

The DOE has also met with the oil industry stakeholders to ensure supply while the problem persists, and asked if discounts could be extended to the public, especially to the public transport sector. Supply was assured and some companies agreed to extend discounts to the public transport industry on top of existing discounts currently given like vaccination and loyalty incentives. 

The DOE also required the unbundling of the cost of retail products to determine their true and passed-on cost.

The DOE maintains that the unbundling of oil prices would result to greater market transparency by establishing the trends in the prices of oil and finished petroleum products. This, in turn, would help ensure a level playing field within the oil industry, while upholding the best interests of consumers.

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