Peso drops further to 54.98 vs US$ to push pump prices up slightly
Oil prices will go up by about P1 per liter for diesel and kerosene because of the peso’s depreciation against the US dollar, the Department of Energy (DOE) said Friday.
The peso sank to its weakest closing level in over 16 years after it closed at P54.985 to a dollar on Friday—the worst performance of the currency since October 27, 2005, when it ended at P55.08 to a dollar.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that in the past four days, the softening of the peso has resulted in about a P1 per liter increase for diesel and kerosene but said gasoline prices may actually decline.
The peso plunged for the fifth straight week by P1.235 or 2.3 percent. Since the start of the year, it had already depreciated P3.986 against the US dollar or 7.8 percent.
He said world oil prices declined by about $3 per barrel due to concerns that the US interest hikes would affect economic growth.
“Unfortunately, instead of a rollback, there will be a slight increase due to the impact of the softening of the peso against the dollar,” Abad said.
On June 21, the oil companies raised the price of gasoline by P0.80 per liter, diesel by P3.10 per liter, and kerosene by P1.70 per liter.
These resulted in a net increase of P29.50 per liter for gasoline, P44.25 per liter for diesel, and P39.65 per liter for kerosene since the start of the year.
From June 14 to June 20, gasoline was sold from P75.15 per liter to P98.10 per liter, diesel for P77.40 to P94.90 per liter, and kerosene from P87.94 to P97.34 per liter in the National Capital Region.
In the face of the continuous rise in fuel prices, Deputy Speaker and Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City said the government should study setting aside some projects and reallocating their budget to cash subsidies for public transport operators and drivers.
“We acknowledge that everyone is feeling the brunt of these oil price hikes, but the ones suffering the most are those in the transport, farming, and fisheries sectors,” Ungab said.
Ungab said he supports President-Elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s plan to give direct assistance to help mitigate the impact of the continued oil price hikes.
He also cautioned against suspending the excise tax on fuel products, saying the government might be losing a huge amount of funding that could be used to help the poor in times of crisis.
“The option to suspend taxes should be on a case-to-case basis. There is a need to study the proposal, or else the government might run out of funds, which might cause a huge problem,” Ungab said.
Also on Friday, incoming National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos said Marcos was open to buying oil from Russia, which is under a Western embargo following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
She said Filipinos must lose the anti-Russia and pro-US mindset, as this was a matter of energy security.