ENERGY SECRETARY Alfonso G. Cusi said he expects oil prices to fall in the next few months with global oil prices slowly normalizing. 

“In the coming months, oil prices may not be as high as what we have now as the prices (are correcting) in the world market,” Mr. Cusi said in a televised interview with Daily Tribune Wednesday.

“(The price of) diesel has stabilized, and for gas, only very little adjustments are needed,” he added.

Oil benchmark prices have breached $80 per barrel, the highest levels since October 2018, when prices were a little less than $90.

In the Philippines, the prices of petroleum products have risen for nine straight weeks.

In separate advisories Tuesday, fuel companies such as Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., and Seaoil Philippines, Inc. raised the prices of their gasoline by P1.15, diesel by P0.45, and kerosene by P0.55 per liter. 

To deal with higher prices, Mr. Cusi said during the interview that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved a P1-billion fuel subsidy for drivers of public utility vehicles.

The Department of Transportation said Tuesday that the subsidy will benefit around 178,000 drivers and will be distributed via cash cards issued by the Land Bank of the Philippines. 

Mr. Cusi added that Shell and Petron have agreed to provide discounts for trucks that transport food and other basic goods to head off higher consumer prices.

“Oil companies were also tapped to give discounts to fishermen,” he added. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago