Mall to rise after oil depot gets scuttled


A mall will be built on the lot occupied by the Pandacan depot once oil companies there vacate the area under a court order, according to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Estrada on Wednesday said the proposed mall will solve the fear of some residents of losing their jobs at the oil companies.

“New jobs will be available in the area once the mall is erected,” the former President added.

Estrada did not say who the investors in the new Pandacan development are.

On Tuesday, the SC rejected appeals filed by Chevron Philippines Inc., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Petron Corp. on its ruling last November that set a six-month deadline for implementation of the transfer of the depot.

It said the Pandacan depot has no place in a densely populated area, citing previous incidents, including the December 1942 fire that originated from the Pandacan fuel storage dumps and spread over the entire city of Manila.

The High Court also junked a petition of Chevron to keep its property at the depot despite withdrawal last year of its products stored there.

The oil firms have until January next year to completely comply with the order to vacate the area.

But Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. is not giving up its fight to retain its oil facilities in the Pandacan depot.

In a statement also on Wednesday, it said it will first study implications of the Supreme Court decision and review all available options to maintain its facilities in the depot.

Chevron said it has not received a copy of the court decision and so it cannot fully comment on the matter.

It, however, clarified that it only filed a “simple” motion for clarification of the order, not a motion for reconsideration.

Pilipinas Shell and Chevron assured that they will comply with the SC ruling.

Petron has not issued any statement on the ruling.

The country’s biggest oil refiner, it is still occupying the Pandacan depot, along with Pilipinas Shell.

Chevron, owner of the Caltex brand, moved out of the depot in June 2014.

Pilipinas Shell country president Ed Chua earlier said the company has not come up with relocation plans.

“We have no relocation plans, people think that if we close, we will relocate somewhere, we will not,” Chua added.

He said relocation will mean big expenses for the company.

Chua expressed fear that many of their employees will be affected by the closure of the Pandacan depot.

The SC also ordered the oil companies to submit a comprehensive relocation plan to the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 39.

The Pandacan oil depot, which started as a small facility in 1914, sits on 33 hectares of land by the Pasig River.

The depot holds a total of 313 million liters of gasoline, diesel, bunker oil, LPG, aviation jet fuel and other chemicals.


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