TAGBILARAN CITY – Is the provincial government really serious in considering setting up its own gas stations fater a thorough study or just a lip service? This surfaced as the second round of petroleum products start to increase following a series of rollback of their retail prices. A number of consumers, who were aware of the said proposal, said during interview they wanted to know what’s the result of the study for the provincial government setting up its own gas stations.
The provincial government last year “threatened” to put up its own gas stations if the the Big 3 — Caltex, Petron and Shell –remain unyielding to the demand in reducing further their petroleum products prices in last months last year. In fact, some provincial board members are toying the idea that appeared to boycott gas pump stations to further put pressure on the alleged “cartelized” Big 3 to bring their oil prices down.
Earlier on, the provincial government as proposed provincial Board Member Atty. Tomas D. Abapo, Jr. said that, it would put up its own gas pumping stations to literally compete the commercial dealers, mostly run by the Big 3. Abapo’s proposal, which is welcomed by his colleagues, is now under study by the Provincial Legal Office and the Provincial Planning and Development Office.
Initially, part of the plan is to halt procuring/purchasing gasoline or diesel by big volume from the “Big 3” for the provincial government’s use for its numerous heavy equipment and service vehicles. Another step under the plan is for the provincial chief executive to exert influence to local government units in the municipalities and the national government agencies to shift their procurement to “white stations” fuel supply from the “Big 3” suppliers.
This means millions of pesos will definitely be lost from the “Big 3” income sales monthly, say some PhP200,000 to Php300,000 worth of fuel monthly consumption of the provincial board, if the said plan pushes through. There were no immediate response or reactions from both the “Big 3” and the “white stations” from this plot.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Committee-of-the-Whole, earlier, succeeded in convincing “white stations” to lower their unleaded gasoline prices by PhP1.25.
The report has this to say: “They made a concensus to take away the giving of discounts and lower the price of unleaded gasoline to P1.25 per liter lower than the prevailing price posted by the Big 3 in Tagbilaran City, and that their respective prices will be displayed on their price boards effective August 16, 2014,” the report said.
The said Committee recommended “to inform the consuming public on this development” even as it expressed appreciation to the concerned gas stations which heeded the call for rolling back the fuel prices.
But this remains to be seen since it has to have an impact on the part of the “Big 3” gas stations, according to one of the board members. (rvo)