‘Major’ rollback in fuel prices expected today
Oil companies will implement today a much-awaited big-time rollback on the prices of petroleum products.
This is the fifth straight week that oil companies have lowered prices of fuel; diesel is expected to decrease by P2.00 – P2.10 per liter, gasoline at P2.40 – P2.50 per liter while kerosene prices will decrease by P1.70 – P1.80 per liter, according to the forecast.
Department of Energy (DOE) – Visayas Director Saul Gonzales said that this trend will continue this week, although, he wasn’t sure if it would in the coming weeks.
“We can’t really be sure if the trend will continue until the month of December, because there is a possibility that the price of fuel will rise again or continue to decline,” Gonzales said.
Based on DOE’s monitoring, since October 15, the price of diesel has already decreased by a total of P3.10 while the price of gasoline decreased by a total of P5.55.
Due to the adjustment in fuel prices, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-7 Regional Director Eduardo Montealto Jr., said their main office in Manila might delay the approval of the provisional fare hike petition that was filed by the Basak Lapu-Lapu City Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (Balacjoda).
“We are waiting for the approval of our recommendation, but there might be delays, because the trend has already changed after oil companies implemented rollbacks on the price of fuel,” Montealto said.
Montealto explained that their main office would need to study even further the fare hike petition, due to the cut in oil prices.
He is also hopeful that the trend will continue until December this year.
“(Since Balacjoda) has filed the petition after oil companies implemented a series of oil price hikes, now that its trend is already decreasing, it has become conflicting already because of this development,” he said.
Originally, Balacjoda filed for a provisional increase of P2.50 on top of the minimum fare for jeepneys but LTFRB-7 approved only a portion of the amount. Montealto also refused to divulge how much was approved and recommended.
Currently, the minimum fare for jeepneys is at P6.50 while students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) enjoy a 20 percent fare discount.
If LTFRB-Manila decides to dismiss the petition, Montealto said that the group can always file a motion for reconsideration.
“But they have to make justifications on why a fare hike should be implemented,” he added.
Montealto believes that with the implemented roll backs on the price of fuel, the price of other commodities and vehicle spare parts might also decrease.
“These are negligible if they will use this as a support (in their claims), because the direct impact will always be in the price of fuel,” Montealto stressed.
LTFRB-7 will also be sending within this week their recommendation for the fare hike petition filed by the Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association (CPBOA).
For now, Montealto said that they are still collecting data from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) as an attachment to the petition.
The group is asking for an additional P4 for the first five kilometers (KM) or from the original P6 to P10. For the succeeding kilometer, CPBOA is also asking a .30 centavo increase or from P1.20 to P1.50.
Romeo Armamento, vice-president of the National Confederation of Transport Workers Union (NCTU), however said LTFRB should not hold the implementation of the provisional fare increase.
“Even if we are experiencing a rollback in the price of fuel right now, but we could never tell if what will be the trend in the coming days,” Armamento said whose group is affiliated with Balacjoda.
He suggested that the LTFRB implement the automatic fare adjustment scheme.
“They should establish this kind of scheme so that operators would no longer need to file a petition and the agency would no longer need to conduct hearings,” he added.
The proposal was also backed by DOE Regional Director Gonzales.
Montealto had earlier revealed that the proposal was already being studied after Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade introduced this to LTFRB.
Meanwhile, Erwin Goc-ong of the Grains Retailers Confederation (Grecon), also revealed that the price of imported rice has also started to decline.
But instead of attributing it to the decrease on the price of fuel, Goc-ong said the price of imported rice decreased after the supply of rice became sufficient and stable.
“The cut on the price of rice is at P50 to P150 per bag. For instance, imported rice which used to be sold at P2,200 per bag, is now being sold at P2,050, while another variety of rice that was sold at P2,300 per bag, now has decreased to P2,250,” Goc-ong said.
They are also hoping that the price of locally produced rice, specifically from Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, will also decline because of the fuel rollback.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.