A lawmaker on Monday urged the House Committee on Ways and Means to determine why small oil players are able to sell their products at prices lower compared with the big three oil companies.
In Monday’s hearing, AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said there is a question of where small players are getting the products that they selling.
“There is a question of where does the supply come from and…. that can be reviewed by the committee since that it involves importation and does affect the collection of excise taxes,” Garin said.
There are claims that some oil companies allegedly resort to smuggling that allows them to reduce the price of their products.
During the hearing, San Miguel Corp., CEO Ramon S. Ang, owner of Petron Corp., said small oil players are selling gasoline and diesel at P10 per liter cheaper compared to the big three.
“Kung naghahanap tayo ng solution pano natin matulungan yung mga jeepney driver, taxi driver or bus eh yun na ang sagot dun na sila bumili. I think mababa yung overhead siguro nila kaya nakakabenta sila ng on an average (mas mababa ng) P10 per litro,” Ang said.
Ang said most of the public utility jeepneys buy diesel from small oil players due to its cheap price.
Asked by Baguio City Rep. Mark Go why small oil companies were able to sell fuel at cheaper price, Ang said: “Ah sir alam nyo hindi ko na pwedeng sabihin pa kung bakit sila ganun ka-efficient kayo na ho ang nakakaalam nun.”
Ang explained that the oil industry in the country is deregulated. “Everybody import their own gasoline and diesel everybody put up their own port everywhere so napakaraming imported gasoline at diesel all over the country nobody can monitor them.”
Ang said the crude oil imported by Petron only go to one place—in its refinery in Bataan where the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have stationed personnel.
“We are subject to microscope monitoring by the government agency and when we bring in our crude oil its only in one drop, one area, which is Bataan refinery. In fact BIR and BOC is already stationed there full time… every shipment of ours are being monitored and computerized so we are not able not to do anything else,” he noted.
Ang said Petron cannot increase its price due to stiff competition.
“Yung pagbebenta po namin ay napakaliit lang po ng kita dahil we are facing stiff competition from new players,” the business tycoon said.