The Department of Energy (DOE) has urged consumers to report to the agency oil retail outlets with unreasonable petroleum prices amid the non-stop oil price hikes for the past nine weeks.
In a press conference Wednesday, DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said the agency will not allow retail outlets to take advantage of the current situation in the oil market.
Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rino Abad said as of March 1, nationwide prices of gasoline range from P60 to P83 per liter, P52 to P65 per liter for diesel, and P61 to P68 per liter for kerosene.
Erguiza said retail price of diesel increased from P37.59 per liter in March 2019 to P54.20 in end-February 2022, or an increment of P16.61 per liter in nearly three years.
Gasoline prices also went up from P43.39 per liter to P69.28 per liter in the same period.
In March 2019, the price of Dubai crude was at $72.83 per barrel. It rose to $96.89 per barrel as of February 28.
“As the pandemic is slowly improving, economic activities surge resulting to (the) utilization of more energy. The transportation was most hit and the demand for oil products has significantly increased,” Erguiza said.
He added the crisis between Russia and Ukraine aggregated the already tight supply of oil in the world market.
The Philippines does not directly get crude oil from Russia but from Asian countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan which are sourcing from Russia.
Based on DOE projection, local oil prices are expected to reach P68.70 per liter for diesel and P78.33 per liter for gasoline once Asian oil price benchmark Dubai crude will reach $120 per barrel.