Five days after acting governor Arnold I. Palacios lifted the prize freeze that had been in effect in the CNMI for more than a year, gas prices went up yesterday by 10 cents at both Shell and Mobil gas stations.
Shell stations had a head start, increasing its gas prices by 10 cents at 12am Wednesday. Mobil gas stations followed suit on Wednesday afternoon.
Both companies raise or lower their gas prices without prior notice but they typically mirror each other’s price adjustments.
As of yesterday, Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc. and Mariana Acquisition Corp., which owns Shell Marianas, increased their gas prices from $3.93 per gallon of Extra fuel to $4.04 per gallon and their Supreme fuel price rose from $4.30 a gallon to $4.40. Diesel prices also saw a 10-cent increase, from $4.32 per gallon to $4.42 per gallon.
Matt, who asked that his last name be withheld, said he was not surprised with the price increase, saying this was to be expected.
“It has been about a year since gas prices have been raised,” he said.
Karl, who became aware of the adjustments only yesterday morning, was saddened by this development, saying it just creates another difficult situation for everyone. “It’s hard enough that the cost of living is slowly increasing year after year, but the current instability of gas prices just adds to the struggles of balancing our finances in our household.”
This is the first gas price increase in the CNMI this year, since gas prices have been frozen following the issuance of Executive Order 2019-14 on Oct. 25, 2018, that imposed the price freeze on select commodities.
This order to freeze the prices of basic commodities in the CNMI was declared a day after Gov. Ralph DLG Torres declared a state of significant emergency through Executive Order 2018-16 on Oct. 26, 2018. Gas, kerosene, diesel fuel, natural gas, and all chemical fuels, whether gaseous, liquid, or solid, were included in the price freeze.