Bad news for motorists: It doesn’t look like local fuel prices are going to trend downward any time soon—at least not unless factors outside our control, like the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, settle down.
“We all know that the price of oil has been increasing the past 10 weeks. It’s not only here in the Philippines, but globally. Since the country is not an importer, masyado malaki ang epekto sa ating bansa,” Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said during a recent press conference held by the Department of Energy (DOE).
“Oil is really increasing, and it is projected to further increase complicated by the war between Russia and Ukraine. Even before the war, the price has been increasing dahil sa kakulangan ng supply sa world market. Estimated at one billion barrels [a day] ang kakulangan ng world market,” he added.
Aside from the ongoing hostilities in Europe, Cusi also attributed the rising fuel costs to a reduction in COVID-19 cases following the last wave caused by the Omicron variant. The official said that this, combined with oil-producing nations unable to keep up with current demand, is driving prices up.
“Dahil na nga po sa recovery, dahil nawawala na po yung COVID, marami pong tumataas ang demand ng petrolyo globally. That is the reason price has been going up. Then yung supply, kailangan po, dahil yung committed production po ng OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] plus producing countries hindi po nagagawa.”
So, how much worse can this situation get for motorists? Later in the press conference, Cusi was asked by the media if the DOE sees fuel prices reaching P100/L. According to the official, it depends on the global oil market.
“Depende kung how much it will go up in the world market, no? Kasi ngayon ang price ng [oil] is already at $125 (P6,500), per barrel. Dubai price, no. Ang ating retail and pump price ngayon is is already breaching P70 [per liter]. Ang [price] ng gas ngayon is at P65. Pag tumaas pa po nang tumaas ito, sinasabi kanina pag umabot ng daalwang daan talagang tatapalo yun.”
Basically, a lot of this is outside of our control. To help the public out, the DOE says it is coordinating with fuel providers for the implementation of discounts, and will provide subsidies to sectors that need them the most. The agency will also continue to monitor the situation and ensure sufficient supply.
So, do you think P100/L is in the cards?