Motorists should expect pump prices to increase further in the coming weeks as the Russia-Ukraine war drags, the Department of Energy said Tuesday.
Pump prices this week jumped by P5.85 per liter for diesel and P3.60 for gasoline, bringing the per liter price to P70.
Aside from the war, a production shortfall and low inventory are contributing to elevated prices, said Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rino Abad.
"Dahil sa mga rasong ito, ine-expect po talaga natin unfortunately tataas pa po ang price until may colatilla lang d'yan, until magkaroon ng price distraction sa demand," he told TeleRadyo.
Fuel prices can pull back once oil demand weakens, he said.
"Pero sa ngayon, wala pang ganung naoobserbahan na humihina ang demand, that's the problem kasi 'di mo maigalaw ang supply, hindi mo maitaas, walang pagbaba 'yung demand... we are inclined to say na baka sa susunod na linggo talagang mataas kagaya pa rin ngayon, kasintaas pa rin ngayon ang mangyayaring adjustment."
In the meantime, private motorists can look for gasoline stations offering discounts for relief, he said.
"Ang oil companies natin nag-o-offer nga po ng P1 to P4 fuel discount, piliin lang nila ang gasoline station, meron po talagang discount na tuloy-tuloy na binibigay ang ating oil companies."
Public utility vehicles (PUVs) can expect fuel subsidies from the government starting March to help cushion the impact of soaring prices, said Abad. Another tranche of subsidies could be released by April, he said.
For farmers and fisherfolk, the government is also eyeing to increase its budget for fuel vouchers to P1.1 billion from the initially approved P500 million.