(UPDATE) Diesel pump prices to go up three pesos per liter

Posted at 07/18/08 11:40 PM

Gasoline and kerosene also up by at least one peso per liter

The largest pump price increase for diesel this year will take effect this Saturday. Oil companies are scheduled to hike the price of gasoline and kerosene products by at least P1.00 per liter and diesel by P3.00 per liter.

Sources at the Department of Energy (DOE) said Eastern Petroleum will be the first one to implement the price hikes at 5 a.m. Saturday, to be followed by Seaoil Philippines Inc. an hour later.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Chevron Philippines (formerly Caltex) and Unioil Petroleum Phils. also announced their respective P3 per liter increase in diesel prices.

Shell and Chevron said they will increase their gasoline prices by P1.50 per liter while Unioil announced a P1 per liter increase.

Kerosene products of Unioil will increase by P2 per liter while Chevron announced a P1.50 per liter increase and Shell announced a P1 per liter increase.

Shell and Unioil said their respective hikes would be implemented 6 a.m. Saturday while Chevron said their new prices would be effective 12 noon Saturday.

Flying-V, meanwhile, said they would only raise the prices of diesel and kerosene and would leave the price of gasoline unchanged. The firm's price hike will take effect midnight Sunday.

Highest diesel price increase

The price hike is the highest increase in any petroleum product so far since the start of the skyrocketing price of oil in the world market.

Oil companies said there could possibly be more price hikes in the coming weeks especially since they have not yet fully recovered their losses, particularly in diesel.

Flying-V said it needs to recover at least P5.00 per liter for diesel.

The price hike, the 20th for 2008, will now put the price of a liter of diesel a peso shy of P60.00, nearly the same price as gasoline, which ranges between P60.47-P62.35.

Motorists have resigned themselves to accept the weekly price hikes because they said they could not do anything about it.

Oil companies admitted these price hikes would ignite further protests, but Shell, one of the "big three" oil companies, said they would want a "peaceful" dialogue with the militant groups.

In this light, Shell invited militant groups for a dialogue with the DOE.

Militant groups, such as Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, however, are skeptical about the move. They doubt if the dialogue would bring down prices.

They also admit that protesters sometimes end up committing acts of vandalism, but they said these are only caused by heightened emotions brought about by problems caused by the seemingly endless pump price hikes. With a report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News