6 consecutive weeks of oil price hikes burden Filipinos

August 15, 2023

by IBON Foundation

Filipinos will have to contend with the sixth consecutive week of price hikes for diesel and gas and the fifth consecutive week for kerosene. The big oil corporations are raising the prices of petroleum products by Php1.50 per liter (/liter) for diesel, Php1.90/liter for gasoline, and Php2.50/liter for kerosene. These will increase the common price of diesel to Php66.60/liter, of gasoline to Php65.90/liter, and of kerosene to Php78.33/liter.

Research group IBON said that the government can make oil products cheaper for Filipinos and moderate the snowball effect on the price of other goods and services by removing fuel taxes. Taking away the excise and value-added taxes on petroleum products, the price of diesel would just be Php52.61/liter, gasoline Php47.99/liter, and kerosene Php63.93/liter.

The group said that these consecutive price hikes are happening just as self-rated poverty and borderline poverty increased to 21.6 million (as per the Social Weather Station) and the number of families without savings grew to 18.8 million (as per Bangko Sentral Pilipinas), both as of June 2023. Wages are also diminishing with NCR workers for instance, and despite their recent wage hike, are still earning less in real terms today than before the pandemic lockdowns.

IBON said that the Marcos administration removing excise and value-added taxes on oil products will give Filipino families more money in their pockets and increase their purchasing power to cope with the relentless increases in the prices of their day-to-day household expenses. It may also spur economic growth whose slowdown for three consecutive quarters is partially due to weakening consumer spending.