For the third time this year, prices of petroleum products increased last February 14. In particular, the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene increased by ₱0.75, ₱1.25 and ₱1.10 per liter, respectively. On February 9, the prices also rose by ₱0.85, ₱1.10 and ₱1.00 respectively.
Compared to last year, prices of gasoline are already higher by ₱4 per liter, diesel by ₱3.90 and kerosene by ₱3.35. This is despite the drop in the global prices of crude oil during the pandemic.
The Department of Energy reasoned that the increase is due to the continuous cut in oil production by member-countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC to artificially increase prices of crude oil. The price of crude oil hit record high in a year last February 5.
Previous decreases in global prices were not felt in the Philippines due to the additional 10% tax imposed by the Duterte regime on imported crude oil and petroleum products last May 2020, through Executive Order 113. This aimed to generate an additional ₱6.8-billion revenue purportedly for pandemic aid programs.
The Department of Energy itself then warned that the additional tax will increase the price of gasoline and diesel by ₱0.60 and ₱0.84 per liter.
This means that a portion of Duterte’s much touted pandemic aid actually came from the pockets of the people in the form of higher charges for transportation, food and public utilities.
The regime has earlier imposed additional taxes on crude oil through the TRAIN Law. This increased the prices of gasoline, kerosene, LPG and other petroleum products by ₱1 per liter, and ₱1.50 per liter for diesel.