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Biggest price hike on fuel products to be implemented Tuesday

Motorists should brace for the biggest price hike on petroleum products so far this year.

In an advisory Monday, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Chevron Philippines Inc. (Caltex), and Seaoil Philippines Inc. said they will increase the prices per liter of gasoline by P3.60, kerosene by P4.10, and diesel by P5.85.

Cleanfuel will implement the same changes, excluding kerosene which it does not carry.

The changes will take effect 6 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, for all firms except for Cleanfuel which will adjust prices at 4:01 p.m. and Chevron (Caltex) at 12:01 a.m. the same day.

Shell said its adjustments include market premiums & higher CME (coco methyl ester) price for diesel.

This will be the 10th week the pump prices of fuel products will increase.

Other firms have yet to make similar announcement.

An official from the Department of Energy (DOE) said Monday there is no problem with the supply of fuel products coming into the country, adding that the problem lies in its prices.

"Wala ho tayong problema sa supply, Mr. Chair. 'Yung problema natin ngayon is... covered po tayo, 'yung inventory natin 30 days, more than 40 days po ang nasa inventory pa natin," DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza said during a congressional inquiry.

(We have no problem with the supply. We are covered, our inventory is for 30 days, we still have 40 days in our inventory.)

"Ang problema ho natin ngayon presyo pero quantity wala ho tayong problema. May pumapasok ho," he added.

(Our problem is the price of fuel products but in the quantity, we have no problem.)

The DOE earlier said prices are expected to increase further in the coming weeks, citing the limited output and the ongoing geopolitical tensions involving Russia, a major exporter.

Economic managers also said they are closely monitoring the factors impacting domestic oil prices, with the government preparing some P2.5 billion for fuel subsidies of public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers. —AOL, GMA News