For those out west, the difference in prices from in the south is by only a few cents. Reporter Vejea Alvarez teamed up with our correspondents in Belmopan, Fem Cruz and in San Ignacio, Eliu Yacab for the following story.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Gone are the days when fuel prices were at single digits. Belize is now among the hundreds of nations grappling with the steady rise in the price of fuel. As prices at the pumps continue to increase with no reprieve in sight. For many residents, it’s a huge inconvenience that they are forced to live with, leaving many looking for ways to cut back on their fuel expenditure.
Driver: Well the high price of gas is affecting everybody and I believe that people will just start to move around less because of the high prices. You will only move when you have to or for emergencies. If the price goes down then people would be able to move around much more because it’s going to be much more economic for everybody.
Reporter: Ma’am I see you went to pick up your grandson after school, so you’re telling me that later on, you’ll walk instead of drive to pick them up, if it continues like that?
Driver: Well if it continues like that, yes I will walk, and the exercise is good. I will park the vehicle.
Driver 2: That finally curtails my moving around a lot. But we have to be cognizant of the fact is that we are aware of what’s happening throughout the world, prices will increase. But prices have been increasing ever since the other party took over but we definitely have to find other ways to curb the new surprises and I strongly suggest that government finds a mutual way to help us decrease the prices of fuel because I’m sure it is affecting everybody’s pockets right now.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: The pain at the pumps is also affecting many persons in the business sector as the cost of operating their business on a daily basis continues to rise.
Driver 3: Everybody knows that the price of gas affects business and just your lifestyle altogether. As far as gas concerns my business, I have to adjust prices because I have other additional expenses due to COVID and I mean, you come to the pump, and every time you come to the pump you feel it mien you know? You can’t just put $20 gas again, you have to put 30 and 40.
Driver 4: Well for me, it affects me a lot because we are trying to do our best to work and keep a little money with the vehicle because we use it to work but now with this price that they have right now it’s very hard for us.
Man: I think that the world price of gas, it’s all being driven by the politicians in various countries but could be mitigated if the United States would allow us to drill there. Here in Belize, coping, you know we, anybody in the rest of the world that’s not making a decision is bearing the brunt of the problems because, yeah, it’s difficult. Life was difficult enough with the pandemic and now we have this. The war in Ukraine, it’s all driven by the crude, in the end we just hope that there’s going to be a resolution.
Farmer : Gas prices are going up. We can’t control it but I feel as though the government should subsidise it at least to the producers, to the farmers like myself and to tourism because then that would make the labour price stay the same and make the product stay the same but if they leave it the way it is for everybody, even the producers, then the price of goods will go up too high for the greater majority of working class.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Undoubtedly, the transportation sector has been severely battered by the recent rise in the price of fuel with taxi and bus operators now forced with the harsh reality of raising their fares, but for many it’s at the cost of losing their customers.
Taxi Driver 1: It’s rough because when you take people behind San. Martin’s, Salvapan and you want to charge them a $2 extra, they think hard of giving that, or a dollar, even a dollar extra they don’t want to give you so it’s really rough this gas price here.
Reporter: So what do you think needs to be done my brothe
Taxi Driver 1: I would want to see it go back down my brother.
Taxi Driver 2: It is affecting me because, you know what, people complain about the prices and runs that I do. They don’t want to give me my prices that I am charging for so now it is affecting me. Everything they blame on me. They say I am charging too much but it’s not me charging too much, it’s the gas thing stays. It’s the government raising the price.
Reporter: So what message would you want to send to the government to say at least, well, man, at least drop this thing because we know that it’s hand to mouth. You’re not making much on this taxi run that you’re doing.
Taxi Driver 2: Well I just want to ask the Prime Minister to please try and help us out you know because he’s not helping us in any way because, you know, like what he says, “All ah wi fi win” but I mean, I di lose. He di win.
Taxi Driver 3: It affects us very very much, Brother Fem. Like I mean, you are hardly making it now because people don’t want to pay if you raise the price of taxi service.
Reporter : So what do you do to not lose because it seems to be that right now, you are the loser.
Taxi Driver 3: Well the thing about it is that I talk to people who I am transporting and because I speak to them nicely then it is coming like little by little, people are giving me a dollar or two to help with the price of gas.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: While many are clamouring for some sort of ease to the nation’s gas pain, a solution to this issue seems nowhere on the horizon as the global demand for black gold continues to grow day by day. Reporting for Love News, I am Vejea Alavrez.
In Belize City, the current price for premium is thirteen dollars and two cents; regular is thirteen dollars and nine cents while diesel is thirteen dollars and fifty two cents per gallon.