Flying V was the first to admit that they have already started implementing a P1 to P2 per liter price increase on diesel in areas where they said competitors also raised prices.
These areas reportedly include Shaw Boulevard, Commonwealth and areas outside of Metro Manila such as Cavite, Pampanga and Laguna.
According to Joey Cruz, Flying V spokesperson, the initial increase will be implemented within 24 hours while succeeding tranches of additional increases will be implemented in the weeks after.
Flying V had earlier warned that the pump prices would increase by P5 per liter once the Palace's freeze on pump prices was lifted.
Eastern Petroleum Philippines also said that it has advised its dealers that effective Wednesday 12.01a.m. it would implement a P2.00 per liter hike adjustment in diesel, P1.25 per liter in unleaded, premium and regular gasoline and P1.50 per liter for kerosene.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, in a text message from spokesperson Roberto Kanapi, said it will implement increases effective Wednesday, 12:01 a.m.
Kanapi said the oil giant will increase prices of unleaded gasoline by P1.50 per liter, diesel by P2.00 per liter, kerosene by P1.50 per liter and its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products by P2.00 per kg in Luzon.
The adjustment is in line with Executive Order 845 which lifts the oil price freeze mandated under EO 839," said Kanapi.
The Pilipinas Shell spokesman said that the oil firm will announce "its assistance package for calamity-stricken areas pursuant to EO 845 in a press conference tomorrow."
Petron Corp., in a text message, also sait it will increse pump prices
Phoenix Petroleum meanwhile said it will implement in its Luzon stations a pump price increase of P2 per liter for diesel and P1.50 per liter for gasoline effective 6 a.m. Wednesday.
It said its increase in prices is in line "with the lifting of EO 839 and in order to partially recover its losses."
A source at the Department of Energy (DOE) meanwhile said that Petron Corp. has already sent a notice that it will also increase prices by P2.00 per liter diesel and P1.50 for gasoline.
The source also said that Petron will also increase the price of its LPG product by P2.00 per kilogram or P22 per tank.
No supply shortage!
Meanwhile, after warnings of a possible supply shortage during the implementation of EO 839, oil firms are now singing a different tune with the price cap lifted.
At a joint Congressional hearing, representatives of oil companies said that their current stock is equivalent 30 to 50 days not the 13 days supply remaining before EO 839 was lifted which was announced by Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said that Reyes based his statement on the stock of small independent oil players which were reportedly only 4-5% of the oil industry.
Fare hikes loom
As pump prices increase, transport groups meanwhile transport groups may not be far behind in seeking for an upward adjustment in the minimum fare.
One group, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), had earlier warned that it will seek at least a P1 minimum fare hike if diesel prices reach P30 per liter which would already be fulfilled with the price increases effective Wednesday. EO 839 had pegged prices at P28.00 per liter.
Another transport group, Pasang Masda, said that it will seek for a P0.50 fare adjustment should diesel prices reach P35 per liter.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)1, the government agency which approves fare adjustments in public transport, however showed a different computation in fare hikes.
It said a P5.00 increase in diesel should be equivalent to only a P0.30 fare adjustment.
This was however slammed by activist group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operaytors Nationwdie (PISTON). The group said LTFRB's computation showed government's bias against public transport groups and in favor of oil companies.
Whenoil companies increase prices, government has no computation to justify the increases but when public transport groups seek for an upward adjustment in fares, government has a computation which it can readily show.
Ogden Nash - "The trouble with a kitten is that when it grows up, it's always a cat."