The second round of petroleum prices increase this month pushed unleaded gasoline to an average of P40.05 per liter and diesel to P32.66 per liter in the city.
Oil companies yesterday implemented an increase of 40 centavos per liter for gasoline and 70 centavos for diesel and 65 centavos for kerosene.
Leading retailers in Bohol such as Shell, Petron, Total implemented the increase effective 6 a.m. yesterday.
Flying V, which has no retailer in Bohol, went ahead as of 12:01 a.m. yesterday.
Other companies having outlets in other parts of the country such as Seaoil, Jetti, Phoenix Petroleum, and PTT Philippines went along with the giant companies at 6 a.m., while Unioil started the increase at 6:01 a.m.
Oil companies attributed the increase in pump prices to the “market optimism on the production cut agreement of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries”.
Motorists now grow wary as to possible additional increase next week as the peso depreciated further yesterday to P50-to-one dollar exchange rate.
The Philippine peso was still at P49.77 against US$1 on Tuesday last week.
Yesterday’s fuel prices increase followed a week after a hefty oil price hike at P1.40 per liter for both gasoline and diesel.
The biggest increase in two months took effect on November 29 having P1.50 per liter for gasoline and P1.20 per liter for diesel.
Yesterday’s increase sparked outrage anew among motorists in Bohol who continually seek for explanation on the disparity of fuel prices in the city and Ubay.
Disparity is at P1.21 per liter in diesel and 95 centavos to P1 per liter for gasoline.
The fuel price issue in Bohol also includes concerns on the proliferation of white stations.
The Department of Energy is still crafting a department circular which intention includes a way to address concerns on adulteration of petroleum gasoline.
Ahead of the fine-tuning of the department circular, the DOE issued a public warning in the first week of December in line with this concern.
The DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau (DOE-OIMB) conducted a series of onsite inspections on 924 gas stations in entire country from January to November this year.
The results show that 46 of these gas stations used methanol blend “ranging from one percent to 16 percent per volume”.
“Of the stations inspected, three belong to major players, 18 to independent players and 25 are white stations or retail outlets or gas stations that only have 1-5 existing service stations,” according to the DOE official statement relayed to the media.
The DOE-OIMB further explained that “methanol content as an innate component in bioethanol does not mean allowing the methanol to be blended in finished gasoline products”.