Less than a month after its last gas price increase, Mobil stations increased gas prices by 15 cents anew before lunch last Thursday. Shell gas stations followed suit on Friday morning.
From $4.08, gas prices were raised to $4.23 per gallon of regular gas at all gas stations around the island. Supreme went up from $4.40 to $4.60 and diesel prices increased from $4.31 to $4.46 per gallon.
“With gas at $4.23 per gallon, it’s only $3 short of our minimum wage. It is like working half a day to earn a gallon of gas nowadays,” said Ann of As Lito.
According to Tony Tudela, a gas attendant at Mobil gas station Chalan Kiya, the announcement came during the day and not a lot of people became immediately aware of the increase.
“We changed our signage on gas prices and that was the only time people knew of the increase. Many of them did not come to load gas right away because they weren’t prepared for it,” he said.
“Usually, after the announcement of gas price increase, our station is filled with cars trying to load gas. The recent price increase took time to sink in with the motorists,” he added.
Greg from Chalan Kiya said that this 15-cent price increase is a lot for a student like him.
“We just feel helpless because we know these things are inevitable and there is nothing we can do. As a student, I will have to make more adjustments in my gas usage every week,” he said.
According to previous articles on the Saipan Tribune, gas prices were $3.48 in early 2016 and continued to increase until it reached $3.93 in December 2016. A decrease of 10 cents was seen in June of 2017 before it increased by 10 cents again oin October 2017.
A 13-cent increase was implemented on Jan. 8, 2018, raising gas prices from $3.95 to $4.08 per gallon. (Bea Cabrera)