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Oil firms hike gasoline price by 70¢/liter

- Donnabelle L. Gatdula () - April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -    As expected, oil companies have raised anew their pump prices due to the continuing rise in international oil prices.

Shell, Chevron and Total announced that they increased the prices of regular gasoline by 70 centavos per liter, unleaded gasoline by 60 centavos per liter, diesel by 25 centavos per liter and kerosene by 40 centavos per liter effective 6 a.m. yesterday.

The other oil players have yet to announce their price adjustments.

According to Shell, it had to adjust its prices upward to reflect the true costs of petroleum products in the local market, especially the higher cost of ethanol and biodiesel products.

Based on official data, Dubai crude, the benchmark of oil refiners, increased to $116 per barrel last week from $115 per barrel from April 4 to 8.

Imported unleaded gasoline, on the other hand, went up to $129 per barrel from $128 per barrel while diesel went up to $141 per barrel from $140 per barrel, week-on-week.

Last April 12, local oil companies increased their prices by P1.50 per liter.

With the recent price hikes, diesel products are now selling at P46.70 to P49.25 per liter, gasoline is at P54.30 to P61.51 per liter.

Year-to-date net increase is P8.55 for gasoline and P9.85 for diesel. Oil prices have now gone up 13 times since the start of the year but diesel went down once and gasoline twice.

As this developed, the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) advocacy institution promoting market-friendly policy reforms commended the government’s temporary use of targeted subsidies in favor of vulnerable groups.

“Broad stroke populist measures being pushed like special exemption of all oil products from VAT, re-establishment of the oil price stabilization fund, or worse, price controls, will surely lead to price distortions, misallocation and inefficiencies in the use of an expensive resource, fiscal wastes due to subsidization of those who do not need help, and supply shortages,” the Foundation said.

Among the fellows of the Foundation are Philip Medalla, Calixto Chikiamco, Romeo Bernardo, Roberto de Ocampo, Ernest Leung, Gerry Sicat, Arsenio Balisacan, Boo Chanco and Dante Canlas.

Advisers are Cesar Virata and Ramon del Rosario.

The group said it recognizes and supports the efforts of the Energy Department to vigilantly monitor oil price movements both in the international and local markets, provide greater transparency in the computation of local petroleum product prices, and require oil companies to explain their price adjustment, among others.

ARSENIO BALISACAN BOO CHANCO AND DANTE CANLAS CALIXTO CHIKIAMCO CESAR VIRATA AND RAMON CHEVRON AND TOTAL ECONOMIC FREEDOM ENERGY DEPARTMENT ERNEST LEUNG GERRY SICAT OIL PER
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