SouthCot wants an LGU-run gas station

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 January) – The South Cotabato provincial board has endorsed the forging of a proposed sales agreement between the provincial government and fuel firm Petron Corporation for the establishment of a local government-operated refueling station in nearby Koronadal City.

South Cotabato board member Ervin Luntao, chair of the board’s ways and means committee, said they are set to issue an authority to Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. to sign a sales agreement with Petron to facilitate the opening of a Petron Bulilit Station in the area within the first quarter of the year.

“The governor requested for an authority to pursue the deal with Petron and we initially signified to him that we are amenable with the proposal,” he said in a report from the South Cotabato Information Office.

Last week, Pingoy met with representatives of Petron to discuss the details of the refueling station venture and the proposed sales agreement, which is slated for signing later this month.

Last year, the governor initially sought the assistance from Petron’s mother firm San Miguel Corporation (SMC) for the forging of a supply deal to address the local government’s problems on the lack of stable fuel supply for its motor pool.

SMC, which has been building up its presence in the province following its acquisition last year of a major coal mining project in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu town, immediately signified to help the local government establish and operate its own refueling station.

Luntao said Petron consider its partnership with the provincial government as so far the first of its kind in Visayas and Mindanao.

Under the proposed sales agreement, he said the refueling station will mainly provide for the fuel requirements of the different offices of the provincial government but it may also serve other government institutions in the area upon formal request.

The official said the agreement is deemed “very beneficial” for the provincial government as it would save at least P2 for every liter of fuel that would be dispensed by the refueling station.

On an annual basis, he placed the local government’s savings and income from the refueling station’s operations at P2.4 million.

“The continuing fluctuation of fuel prices will no longer be a problem for us since Petron will be offering its products to us at the dealer’s price,” he said.

Luntao said Petron initially plans to start the construction of the refueling station in Barangay Morales in Koronadal City by next month.

He added that as part of the agreement, the local government will provide for the site of the refueling station while Petron will shoulder all the costs for the construction of its building and depot as well as the installation of other necessary equipment. (By Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)