PRICES of diesel are seen to increase again by “a little over P1” next week due to the current performance of the Philippine peso against the US dollar.

Department of Energy Oil Industry Management Bureau director lawyer Rino Abad said gasoline prices, on the other hand, may go down “a little bit.”

He said prices of kerosene may also increase by less than P1 per liter.

"Ngayong week bumaba ang ating trading prices ng gasoline, diesel at kerosene. Unfortunately, in a matter of five days, halos piso ang itinaas ng ating peso compared to US dollar," Abad said during a radio interview.

"So when we computed, unfortunately, ang ini-expect natin if not baka hindi pa ito magko-cause ng rollback. Pero ang gasolina may chance ng konting rollback o walang adjustment. Yun ang tinignan natin," he added.

The Energy department earlier said that oil price hikes were driven by the Russian oil ban by the European Union caused by its invasion of Ukraine, the increased demand in the United States and China, and the premium in Saudi Arabia crude.

Another factor being considered is the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Following the oil price hike on Tuesday, June 21, pump rate rose to about P100 per liter in some areas, particularly in Palawan and Puerto Princesa City.

Being the most affected sector in the industry, the National Government distributed cash assistance, in two tranches, to public utility vehicle drivers to cushion the effect of the looming crisis.

In March, the Department of Budget and Management released P2.5 billion under the Department of Transportation’s 2022 budget to cover the first tranche of fuel subsidy to more than 377,000 eligible PUV drivers. Each of them received P6,500.

Another P2.5 billion was released in April.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said there should be additional cash subsidies to drivers considering the expected continuous increase of oil prices in the coming months. (SunStar Philippines)