City officials summon
gas stations on prices
Gas stations in Tagbilaran City agreed to allow the Sangguniang Panlungsod to look into their book of accounts in the light of the investigation on the high prices of petroleum products and the proliferation of white stations.
This cropped up during yesterday’s hearing called by the SP Committee as a Whole presided by Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso, although the matter is mainly lodged before the Committee on Industry led by City Councilor Bebiano Inting as the vice-chair while its chair, City Councilor Alberta Torralba, is on vacation in the United States as of now.
The SP investigation is prompted by the move of City Councilor Alexander Lim to pass a resolution seeking to look into root cause of higher fuel prices in the city compared to the neighboring provinces and even in Ubay and adjacent towns.
Lim’s move is also aimed at monitoring and regulating the extent of operation of white stations.
Opening the books of accounts would point to the sales ledgers of the gas stations that could help in pinpointing in which item that the possible excessive mark up has been inserted.
It could also determine if white stations pay the right taxes.
Based on his research done prior to the filing of his resolution, Lim said the record at the permit section shows that of the 20 gas stations operating in the city, six are white stations or debranded.
The most notable is the one across the APC (Agricultural Promotion Center) compound which has no sign board of the prices of their products.
The gas station has also been known for selling gasoline and diesel cheaper by at least P3 per liter.
It is also the same station that offers discounts, instead of reflecting the actual net price of their products.
The SP intends to inquire if the white stations complied with the requirements before being issued with permits or if they remit the right taxes.
Officials of the Philippine Ports Authority and the management of roll on-roll off cargo vessels have also been asked to shed light in determining the actual volume of petroleum products delivered to Tagbilaran City and their sources in comparison to the cost reflected in the books of accounts of gas stations.
This is considering that there had been information leaked, saying transshipments of petroleum products to white stations in the City had no receipts which made it difficult to determine if the they remit the right taxes.
The investigation at the city level is apart from the investigation pursued by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, according to Lim.
The councilor said the city government or other local government units can focus on matters relative to the issuance of business permits and remittance of taxes which is more direct.
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