Oil firms give in to PGMA's appeal, price hike cut by half to P1.50 per liter effective Monday
Manila (21 July) -- Responding to the appeal of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Petron and Shell, two of the country's three biggest oil industry players, agreed to roll back the pump price of diesel fuel by P1.50 per liter effective 12:01 a.m. today (Monday).
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza announced the oil firms' decision at a press briefing yesterday morning in Malacañang.
He said the price rollback, which will take effect a day after the oil companies raised diesel fuel prices by P3 a liter Saturday, "will go a long way in cushioning the impact" of high fuel prices on the people, especially the poor.
The P3-increase announced by the oil companies over the weekend pushed the price of diesel fuel to just a few centavos shy of P59 per liter.
"We would assume that when the two big players make a decision, everybody will follow," Dureza said, referring to the other oil companies operating in the country.
He said the President had instructed Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to talk to the two oil company officials about the possibility of bringing down the price of diesel fuel products, specifically diesel fuel.
"In an effort to cushion or soften the impact of such a hefty increase, the President issued an appeal to the oil companies…which was brought to the main players of the oil industry in the Philippines," Dureza said.
Oil industry officials imposed over the weekend the biggest increase in the price of diesel products this year due to the "substantial cost" their companies still have to recover from previous increases in oil prices in the global market.
"We are happy to announce that there was a positive response from the oil companies and so by midnight Sunday…a rollback of P1.50 for diesel fuel will be made effective," Dureza said.
In a backgrounder on the world oil price situation, the oil company officials said that when the Oil Deregulation Law was enacted in Feb. 1998, the price of Dubai crude averaged $12 per barrel.
When President Arroyo assumed office in 2001, Dubai crude averaged $23.39 a barrel.
The increase has been unstoppable with Dubai crude breaching $140 per barrel this month. The price of Dubai crude has dipped a bit but still averaged $137.02 per barrel. (PIA-MMIO) [top]