Local fuel retailers are unable to lower their pump prices due to the high cost of fuel supplies set by oil firms, one of the pioneering gasoline station operators in Bohol said Monday in response to public clamor for cheaper petroleum products in Tagbilaran City.
“Kinsa man tawn mi og magpaalig-alig og dive og presyo na way suporta sa kompanya, unless usosan pud ang among puhonan sa pagpalit nila, mo sukol mi,” Leo Lim, who owns majority of the Caltex fuel stations in the province, said in an interview over station dyRD.
Lim said that despite the perceived exorbitant fuel prices in the city, their profit margin has been pinned at P3 per liter or less.
“Di ko mo tuo og naay negosyante na mag negosyo aron maalkanse…ngano maka baligya man mi og barato na mahal man pagsugod,” he said.
It was earlier found out that that fuel prices in Tagbilaran City are higher by P8 to P10 compared with those in the neighboring town of Dauis and even Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental prompting the City Council to launch an inquiry into the issue.
According to Lim, fuel distributors in Ubay, one of the biggest towns of the province at the eastern end of the island opposite Tagbilaran City in the west, have been able to lower their prices due to competition.
The so-called “Big 3” oil companies—Shell, Petron and Caltex—have lowered prices of fuel supplied to retailers in the town allowing their gasoline stations to maintain cheaper prices.
Lim also noted that fuel distributors in Cebu have been able to lower their prices by importing their supplies.
Distributors in Tagbilaran meanwhile source their fuel from the Shell Depot in Tagbilaran City which gets its supply from Batangas City and Cagayan de Oro City.
Tagbilaran City Vice Mayor Toto Veloso, in a separate interview, said that the council’s committee on public utilities and energy chaired by Councilor Dodong Polinar will be inviting resource persons from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Department of Energy (DOE) to find out the base price of the retailers’ fuel supply sources and to come up with measures to lower the prices.
He said that the inquiry will try to verify the claims of the retailers that their prices are influenced by the oil firms’ cost of their supplies which are driven up by additives in their products and the use of the companies’ brands.
“Wa man ta kahibaw sa base price nila sa ilang source except dagdag sila og presyo kay dunay excise tax, mga additives and then compared to other stations kaning gitawag nato og branded gas, kompleto og manpower with complete uniform,” Veloso added.
The council as a committee of the whole on Friday last week invited players in the local fuel distribution industry during a regular session but Veloso said that they were “unsatisfied” with their explanations as to why prices of petroleum products are higher in the city.