Oil firms announce fuel price rollbacks for third time this year

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Oil firms announce fuel price rollbacks for third time this year
An attendant fills up a tricycle with gasoline at a petrol station in Manila on March 15, 2022.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Local oil firms announced price reductions in their fuel products this week after the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that its member-countries will now release a total of 120 million barrels of emergency oil stocks in the global market over the next six months. 

This is the third time this year that weekly fuel prices went down, after the Philippines experienced sustained price hikes earlier this year due to developments affecting the global oil market — where the country gets its supply from.

In an advisory Monday, Seaoil Philippines said it will be implementing price rollbacks of P1 per liter for gas; P0.35 per liter for diesel and P3 for kerosene, effective tomorrow morning.

Cleanfuel and PTT Philippines announced similar price adjustments in their products. 

Rodela Romero, assistant secretary of the Department of Energy's Oil Industry Management Bureau, told Philstar.com in an online exchange Monday that there was a rollback in prices this week after the IEA announced the plan of its member-countries to release 120 million barrels of oil stocks in the next six months. 

Of the emergency stocks, United States will contribute 60 million barrels from its strategic petroleum reserve.

Romero also noted that there has been "low demand" for oil from Shanghai, China, which has been on an extended lockdown due to a surge in Omicron cases.

Sentiments and speculations drive oil price movements. 

Gas, diesel and kerosene prices in the Philippines have been increasing since the start of the year due to tight supply, which was partially worsened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The government previously announced that it is doubling the fuel subsidies for affected sectors to P6.1 billion to help members of the transportation and agricultural industries cope with the impacts of fuel price hikes.

This week's rollbacks are not enough to offset the sustained fuel price increases since the start of the year. 

Based on the advisories of local oil companies since the first week of 2022, the price adjustments of oil products are as follows: P15 per liter for gasoline, P25.65 per liter for diesel and P21.1 per liter for kerosene. 

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