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DOE chief sees big-time oil price rollback next week

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi said a big-time oil price rollback may be expected next week if the improving situation in the global market continues.  

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People broadcasted yesterday, Cusi said a decrease of P5 per liter for gasoline and P12 per liter for diesel is possible during next week’s price adjustment.

He based his outlook on the average price of Dubai crude in the past two days which stood at USD104.79 per barrel, lower than last week’s average of USD122.61 per barrel.

The DOE chief attributed the declining oil prices in the global market to coronavirus disease 2019 related lockdown in China that slows down oil demand, as well as the negotiation for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine.

He added global oil prices could further go down if the sanctions on Venezuela, Iran, and Syria are lifted, as these countries can add more than 1 million barrels of oil in a day.

TARGETED SUBSIDY

Cusi is no longer pushing for the suspension of oil excise tax, and now supports the stance of the Department of Finance (DOF) to uphold such tax.

DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said suspending the excise tax will only benefit the top 10 percent income earners because they consume 50 percent of all the fuel. The country’s bottom 50 percent only shares 13 percent of the total consumption.

Cusi supports continuing the targeted subsidies for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and the sectors of agriculture and fisheries rather than suspending the excise tax.

The DOE chief said he understands that the government’s programs for this year will be affected with the suspension of the excise tax since the estimated P147 billion oil excise tax collection already has allocations.*PNA

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