The gyration of fossil fuel prices PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 August 2018 12:15

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

First up, then down, then up again. Essentially these words describe the seesaw gyration of fossil fuel prices at the pump – the price of diesel, gasoline, kerosene and LPG.

When I take my morning dose of news on TV this is something that catches my eyes easily. One day the news is that prices have gone up by 60 centavos or so per liter of diesel or gasoline. I feel elated that I had the driver fill the tank the day before prices went up. Or I groan since I had expected to load up that day and did not.

And there are days when the news tells the public that pump prices for these fossil fuels are down by 30 centavos or so per liter. When I see something like this in the news two questions usually come up: Why is price reduction usually smaller than the price increase a short while back?  And how quickly are these supposed price reductions reflected at the pump?

As to the first question it is not only I who wonders. My driver, who does not have a college degree, is usually heard saying “ It went up a peso per liter and now I should rejoice because  the price is down 50 centavos per liter?”  He certainly has a point. I remember seeing a news item on TV which said that over the several months the price increase  and the price roll back of gasoline resulted in an over-all net price increase of  about P8. Should we rejoice about this then?

The other question is also intriguing. When there is an announcement that the price of gasoline or diesel has been rolled back by, say, P1 per liter, how quickly is this reflected at the pumps of our suki gas station? I believe this is an area that would be benefited by some research.

I can’t set aside the notion that there must be a more systematic way of handling price gyrations of fossil fuels so that this will really be for the benefit of consumers rather than the giant petroleum companies. I will concede that these companies must continue to make money if they are to stay in business but since their profits are in the hundreds of millions they must also be concerned about the general public that make it possible for the company and their well-paid executives to make their millions.

I am being fanciful but I wonder if we should look forward to man evolving into the kind that has wings and thus will no longer need a car or a motorcycle to get from point A to point B. Wouldn’t that be something to look forward to?