THE gas price increase last Tuesday was the biggest to hit the country from late last year.

During the holidays, gas prices went down almost every week as a reflection of the lowering of fuel costs in the world market. It was a gift for the holidays as consumers focused on what to buy for loved ones rather than how much to set aside for diesel or gasoline.

But there was no more stopping the oil price increase last Jan. 15 as the old stock of many gasoline stations got used up and new supply meant a tax increase.

Although oil companies said the price adjustment was due to the rise in international crude prices, government announcements pointed to the effect of the 2019 fuel excise tax increase on some.

The Department of Energy 7 said 48 of the 1,759 gas stations in the Visayas increased their prices as implementation of the additional excise tax on petroleum products under the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law. Of the 48, some 19 are in Cebu, 19 in Bohol, seven in Negros Oriental and three in other areas in the Visayas.

At the same time, DOE Visayas Director Saul Gonzales reportedly called on gasoline stations to be transparent and inform the public of changes in prices due to the Train Law. While the DOE would field personnel, it asked for the public to help monitor.

SunStar, through its Facebook accounts, has taken the challenge of helping monitor these gasoline stations by providing the venue for comparing prices. It asked motorists to share how much they paid for their fuel so others may know where to find the cheapest diesel or gasoline.

If market forces still played a role in pricing then the social media initiative would highlight the competition among gasoline stations.

The social media campaign asked motorists to take a photo of the prices of fuel in gasoline stations they recently visited. Cite the gas station, address, date and time the photo was taken. This would show how much they paid for their gasoline at what gas station.

Netizens were urged to send their photos to Facebook pages (@SunStar Cebu, @SuperbalitaCebu, and @SunStarPhilippines) via photo comment or direct message.

Let’s give it a try and see how helpful this campaign can be in empowering consumers with information on a best buy.


The SunStar website at will stream live the Sinulog grand parade today, Sunday, to an online audience from different parts of the country and abroad. The grand parade is the highlight of the website’s special coverage that started with the nine-day novena masses, continued with the foot procession last Saturday, and today’s grand parade. It will end with the awarding of winners Monday.

Replays of the videos may be accessed at the Sinulog microsite at The website’s coverage is made possible with the support of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., Smart Communications, PLDT, Sun, and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.