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Diesel up by P2.30/liter, gasoline by P1.40 on top of VAT, fuel excise.

By Myrna Velasco

The string of bad news continues this week for the Filipino consumers as prices at the pumps rose again by P2.30 per liter for diesel products; and P1.40 per liter for gasoline products.

The per-liter-cost of kerosene products, used by many households in rural areas as well as some industries such as aviation, had also gone up by P2.00 per liter.

As of press time, the oil companies that already hiked pump prices include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, PTT Philippines, Chevron and Eastern Petroleum, Total and Jetti effective 12:01 and 6:00 a.m. today (January 15). The rest of the industry players are anticipated to follow.

It will not be coming as a relief for consumers that bulk of the gasoline stations in the country will also be jacking up by P2.00 per liter this week the excise taxes on petroleum products cognizant to the mandate of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that it is anticipating the massive scale implementation of the second tranche excise taxes within the period from January 15 to February 1.

Beyond the excise tax hikes, this week's pump price adjustments will also be levied with corresponding value-added taxes (VAT) - being added component in the costs being passed on at the pumps.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the enforcement of the second package of the tax reform of the Duterte administration is highly necessary because the country's goals of economic progress are anchored on proceeds to be fetched from it.

"The funds to be raised from the collections will be invested to the people through key infrastructure projects, intensified social development and other priority projects of the government," the energy chief explained.

Following the unexpected plunge in global oil prices around October to December last year, market watchers and analysts are expecting a "more balanced' supply-demand scenario in the market this 2019.

The latest investment bank to give its prognosis on the market is Morgan Stanley projecting that world oil prices will likely hover from US$61 to US$65 per barrel this year.

The reinforced inventory of the US market had been afforded a counterweight by the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to slash production this year.

The OPEC's production cut commitment had been set at 800,000 barrels per day; plus the 400,000 barrels per day output slash that producers affiliated with Russia had also pledged - for a total of 1.2 million barrels per day.



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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jan 15, 2019
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