02 Jan Goverment Warns Oil Firms Against Price Hikes
The government has warned companies against the increase of fuel prices by imposing the new excise tax on oil products which they still have in stock from 2017.
The Department of Finance stated that “This is because the excise is paid at the port of importation or refinery. Oil increase done by the companies [purportedly due to the excise tax] on Jan. 1 might be considered profiteering,” and oil companies can be held legally liable if this is ignored.
According to an article by Inquirer.net, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar quoted Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez in a radio interview. Saying that the increase in oil taxes was “not expected to take effect immediately on Jan. 1 because it takes a few days before the old stocks from 2017 are used up.”
“So, therefore, we should be wary of people who will take advantage of this situation.”
Citing movements in international prices as justification, two companies announced on Monday that they would still raise pump prices in a few of their petroleum products.
Starting today, diesel prices would go up by 65 centavos/liter on top of the 15-centavo increase last week. Gasoline prices have also increased by 20 centavos, canceling the same amount that it had gone down last week.
As of now, PTT Philippines Corp. and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. are the only oil companies that announced price hikes but the others are expected to follow.