Last Tuesday, March 8, 2022, oil companies increased the prices of gasoline by ₱3.60 per liter, diesel by ₱5.85/l, and kerosene by ₱4.10/l.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), prices of gasoline have gone up by ₱9.65/l since the start of 2022. Prices of diesel and kerosene increased by ₱11.65/l and ₱10.30/l, respectively.
Another piece of bad news said the country is having difficulty borrowing P65 billion for its expenditures, as creditors are asking for higher interest rates, in view of the Russia invasion’s rippling effect on economies around the world.
This month, consumers of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) will be paying for higher cost of electricity, with rates increasing anywhere from eight (8) percent to almost 12 percent.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has granted the petition of the National Power Corporation (NPC) to recover the impact of the TRAIN Law’s excise tax on fuel on its production cost.
The increase in the Subsidized Approved Generation Rate (SAGR) will be felt from 2022 until 2024, with the rate itself going up by 31% over the period and to stay that way.
And this is not the end: the increasing fuel prices will mean power companies will seek to recover the costs from consumers through the Universal Charge-Missionary Electrification (UCME) that every consumer in the entire country pays.
Truly, tougher times are ahead, especially if the invasion of Ukraine escalates.
Putin is banking on the US and other superpowers to stay out of his bid to annex Ukraine, for fear of triggering a nuclear conflict.
He will be disappointed; the West cannot and will not allow the Russia’s richest man to do what he wants, trampling on an almost defenseless neighbor like what Hitler did in 1939.
Whatever happens, Filipinos, including the peace-loving people of Catanduanes, will have to endure the war’s fallout that has now reached our shores.
Author Lori Deschene says there are five things you can’t control: what other people think of you; what other people do; what happens around you; the outcome of your efforts; and the passage of time.
What you can control is what you do today, she advises.
Only a handful of more than 270,000 people on this Happy Island, as well as members of their families, can be considered immune from the economic crisis: they have enough money in the banks and vital businesses to tide them over.
The rest will have to survive the suffering either on their own or with the help of their families.
What we can do for now, as Russia’s unjust war and the fuel price increases are beyond our control, is to take stock of our individual situations and control how we respond to the crisis.
We can ride this out, like we have survived the numerous super typhoons that have struck the island for decades.
This particular storm may last a lot longer than the few hours that “Rolly” terrorized the island but we, as a resilient people, will come out alive: bloodied but able to take what we have left and rebuild our homes like before.