The Tagbilaran City Council was “not satisfied” with the reasons cited by local retailers of petroleum products sold by the country’s three biggest oil firms on why pump prices in the city are higher compared with those in neighboring towns and even in other cities outside the province.
Vice Mayor Toto Veloso, the council’s presiding officer during its regular session on Friday, said that representatives of the major fuel retailers in the province failed to give answers that would help address the issue on the reported exorbitant prices.
“Wa g’yud ta ma-satisfy kay unsa man ang atong matawag na solution ana,” Veloso said.
The local fuel industry players only explained that since their fuel products are marketed under the “Big 3”—Shell, Petron and Caltex—these already have “additives” which make these more expensive.
They highlighted that their products are branded and are more expensive making it difficult for them to lower their prices as easily as those without brands or the so-called “white stations.”
The distributors of the branded fuel products claimed that they only set a markup margin of P2.50 to P3.
“Tungod kay dunay mga additives let’s say for example Caltex Techron, kanang Platinum Silver, addition ana so mao na ilang presyo taas-taas compared aning mga gitawag na white stations na very low ang ilang pag kompra sa base fuel from their source na wa mo agi og process,” said Veloso.
The City Council invited the representatives from the fuel retail companies in the province amid continued uproar from the public on the expensive petrol in the city. Among those who attended the legislative body’s inquiry were Angelo Racho, president of Petron Service Station Bohol, Servando “Butch” Abaya of Bohol JL Distribution System Inc.,/Caltex and a representative from the province’s Shell distributor.
According to Veloso, the council will be recommending the issue to its energy committee which will invite more resource persons who could provide more information including representatives from the Department of Energy, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Finance.
This will allow the council to determine the actual payments and fees the local distributors paid for the procurement of their supplies.
“Those are the questions na nagpabilin kay niingon sila na ‘mao ni presyo nadawat namo igo ra naay reference margin namo na P2.50 to P3.’ Pero wala g’yud ta mahibaw kung pila g’yud ang rate sa ilang source didto sa taas,” he said.
According to Councilor Dodong Gonzaga, the council’s goal is to determine what the “market-dictated” reasons are for the high prices of fuel in the city.
Gonzaga prepared a marketing report comparing prices in the region which showed that prices of fuel products in Tagbilaran City are higher by an average of P10 compared with those in the neighboring Dumaguete City in Negros Island.
“Nangutana ko ngano mahal diri sa Bohol ang ilang baligya komparar sa Dumaguete unya ‘corporate decision’ kuno na nila. Probably to set off kanang mga lugar na alkanse sila ug unsy lugar na makaginansya sila,” he said.
During the session, it was noted also that the province’s fuel retailers including those marketing Caltex’s, Petron’s and Shell’s branded petroleum products are sourcing their base fuel from the Shell Depot in Tagbilaran.
The depot meanwhile is getting its supply from Cagayan de Oro City and Batangas City. (A. Doydora)