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DOE calls on public to be frugal amid series of pump price hikes

A Department of Energy official said Wednesday that the agency is looking at temporary relief measures to combat the impact of the continuous increase in petroleum prices, noting that the global movement is out of its control.

According to DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau Assistant Director Rodela Romero, the agency is in coordination with other departments to implement a whole-of-government approach for relief measures amid the successive oil price hikes.

“Inaayos na po ang guidelines doon (The guidelines are being fine-tuned),” she said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing, referring to the planned fuel discounts for farmers and fisherfolk.

“Part din ng temporary relief sa ating transport sector ‘yun pong initiative din ng ating DOTr through LTFRB, ‘yung Pantawid Pasada Program. Alam naman po natin nung nakaraang taon na nakatulong ‘yung Pantawid Pasada,” she added.

[Also part of the temporary relief on the transport sector is the Pantawid Pasada Program or PPP of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through the Land Transportation Franchising ang Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The program had helped in the past year.]

Under the PPP, drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) are given financial aid to counter the higher prices of petroleum products.

In October 2021, the economic cluster backed the P1-billion release to the LTFRB for cash grants to PUV drivers, with pump prices hiked for nine straight weeks.

Pump prices have been hiked in the past seven weeks, and have only followed an upward movement so far this year.

Latest data available from the Department of Energy indicate that year-to-date adjustments stand at a total net increase of P5.70 per liter for gasoline, P7.95 per liter for diesel, and P7.20 per liter for kerosene as of February 1, 2022.

Pump prices have only been increased so far this year, following a net increase of P17.65 per liter for gasoline, P14.30 per liter for diesel, and P11.54 per liter for kerosene in 2021.

The increases have followed the global trend, given issues on supplies along with the geopolitical tensions hounding Russia and Ukraine.

Romero said the DOE has already directed local firms to disclose their supplies and ongoing orders, to ensure that the country’s supply will remain sufficient to meet demand.

“Those factors na sinabi ko earlier… wala tayong control like ‘yung talagang pagtaas dahil nga sa kaguluhan or tight supply, talagang walang magagawa si DOE doon,” she said.

“Sa atin pong mga kababayan tsaka lahat po naman tayo consumers,

habang maiksi po ang kumot magtiyaga po muna tayo, magtipid po muna tayo,” Romero added.

[We really have no control on the increases due to the tight supply. The DOE cannot really do anything about that. We are all consumers, let us all persevere and be frugal.] —LBG, GMA News