South Cot LGU eyes own gas retail business

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 September) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is planning to establish its own gasoline station or fuel retail filling outlet in a bid to augment its income and stabilize the local government’s fuel supplies.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. said they held discussions earlier this month with officials of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to explore the viability of operating a Petron gasoline station in Koronadal City under the local government’s management.

Petron Corporation, considered as the largest oil refining and marketing company in the country, is a subsidiary of SMC.

Pingoy said SMC officials initially signified to assist the provincial government in the construction and operation of the planned gasoline station.

“We pursued the idea so we can come up with an additional economic enterprise and at the same time ensure the availability of fuel supplies for the provincial government’s needs,” he said.

The governor said they decided to explore such move after the local government failed to secure a supply contract since last month for its fuel requirements.

He said local fuel dealers and suppliers repeatedly shunned the local government’s call for bidding for its fuel requirements supposedly due to the unstable prices of fuel products in the domestic and international markets.

Pingoy said the “repeated failure of bidding” for the fuel supplies practically limited the movement of some equipment of the Provincial Engineering Office.

“Hopefully we can make a decision and finalize this matter soon,” he said.

Under its service station dealership program, Petron requires prospective operators to meet its required capitalization ranging from P1 million to P9 million, depending on the type of trade and type of station available.

The company also requires applicants to submit a financial statement and business plan for their proposed fuel dealership operation.

The Department of Energy has also set various requirements for the establishment of new gasoline stations, among them the submission of a project or business plan; proofs of compliance of local permits and licenses; certificate of conforme of facilities to national or accepted international standards on health, safety and environment; product certificate of quality; and, an Environment Compliance Certificate or ECC issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau or a certificate of non-coverage. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)