Filipino consumers stand to save around $6 billion in expenses on gasoline, if oil prices in the world market continue to hover around the $50-per-barrel level for the whole year, according to the government’s chief economist.
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said on Tuesday the $6 billion in savings could translate to more purchasing power for Filipino consumers, which could eventually drive economic growth faster.
Beltran based the $6-billion estimated savings on the assumption that oil prices in the world market will hover $50 per barrel.
He said the Philippines imports around $12 billion worth of oil each year, previously at an average price of around $100 per barrel. The drastic cut in the price of oil could bring about the $6 billion in savings.
“The government may not benefit so much from the lower oil prices; but lower oil prices translates to more
purchasing power for Filipino consumers. That’s $6 billion that will eventually go to the economy,” he said.
Beltran said the negative effect that lower oil prices could have on the government is the lower collection of duties by the Bureau of Customs.