The price per liter of diesel fuel is expected to go down next week for the fifth straight week, while gasoline prices may increase slightly by Tuesday, industry sources said yesterday.
An oil industry source told the Standard pump prices for diesel may be reduced by P1.00 to P1.20, citing oil trading monitoring from July 25 to 28 based on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), a pricing basis for many refined oil products in southeast Asia.
Gasoline prices, meanwhile, may rise by P0.50 to P0.70 per liter, the same source added.
This developed as a lawmaker from the Bicol region on Friday urged the government to act on the long-conceived national strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) to ensure an adequate inventory of fuel in the domestic market.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said he was looking forward “to the prospect that it wouldn’t be business-as-usual at the DOE (Department of Energy), where this SPR plan had sadly crawled at a snail’s pace for more than two years running on the watch of then-Secretary Alfonso Cusi.”
The local oil industry uses MOPS, the daily average of all trading transactions between buyers and sellers of petroleum products, as assessed and summarized by Standard and Poor’s Platts. Oil companies usually announce price adjustments every Monday, to be implemented the following day.
Villafuerte said local motorists were on “a seemingly rollercoaster ride, albeit mostly ups than downs, that gasoline and diesel prices have been through in the retail market, especially this year.”
One way for the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to stabilize pump prices under the watch of new Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla “is to put up an SPR or storage facility to let the government bring in additional inventory that could help soften future price surges,” he said.
This would shield consumers and motorists from the debilitating effects of sky-high prices of gasoline and fuel, said the Bicol solon, who had broached the idea of a national fuel reserve in 2019. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
“We are hoping that with Lotilla, a highly-regarded technocrat and veteran in the energy sector, at the helm of the DOE, the government would, at last, take a long look at the SPR plan, which has unfortunately been stuck in the planning stage at the DOE for over two years now,” said Villafuerte.
Effective July 26, fuel firms implemented a price decrease in gasoline by P0.40 per liter, diesel by P1.85 per liter, and kerosene by P1.30 per liter.
This brought the year-to-date total adjustments to stand at a net increase of P18.90 per liter for gasoline, P32.95 per liter for diesel, and P28.05 per liter for kerosene.
Data from the Department of Energy from July 26 to 28 showed the price per liter of gasoline ranged from P67.40 to P77.81 in Quezon City, Metro Manila’s largest city. Diesel ranged between P74.05 and P77.75 per liter in Manila, the country’s capital.
Villafuerte said he was counting on Lotilla’s track record in the energy sector to make a difference on whether the SPR was finally happening soon.
Lotilla had served as Energy Secretary from 2005 to 2007 during the term of then-President Arroyo. He had also served as president of the Power Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and chairman of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).
Cusi said in March that the PNOC was studying the SPR plan.
Despite the downward trend in prices lately, DOE Oil Management Bureau Director Rino Abad told the media the global market remained volatile as oil supply was “very tight” and there was “a tiny difference between supply versus demand.”