Brace for higher power, gas prices this Christmas

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2013 07:15 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2013 03:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy said consumers will just have to bear the brunt of higher LPG, diesel, gasoline, kerosene and electricity prices all at once.

"Kung nagkasabay-sabay silang lahat, hindi yan pinilano, it just happened. What can we do," Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said in a press conference.

Petilla was asked which among the LPG retailers had a price increase that reflected the spike in contract prices in the international market, but he declined to answer.

"Don't buy, kung namamahalan kayo! Huwag kayong bumili dun," Petilla said.

The DOE chief said they don't release any specific price hike figure, since companies may just follow their lead.

Solane increased LPG prices by P11/kilo or P121 for a 11kg tank; Liquigaz by P13/kilo or P143 for a 11kg tank; and Petron Gasul by P14.30/kilo or more than P150 for a 11kg tank.

The contract price rose by $284.50/metric ton which is equivalent to around P13.94/kilo using a peso-dollar exchange of $1-P43.75.

According to Petilla, he would rather have competition and market forces at play rather than dictate that price increase be staggered and thereby, endangering LPG supply.

Petilla also lamented media reports of an impending price spike had pushed dealers and consumers to stock more than what is needed.

Diesel, gasoline and kerosene prices are also going up this week. Based on estimates, diesel is going to be more expensive by P1.30 - P1.50/ liter, kerosene by around P1.10-P1.20/liter and gasoline by P0.40 to P0.60/liter.

Consumers should also brace for higher electricity bills this month. The generation charge is also likely to go up since the Malampaya natural gas facility is still under maintenance until December 10.

Meralco is set to announce the adjustment on Tuesday.