PETRON Corp. (Petron), the country’s largest oil refiner and distributor, is proposing to turn the old Petron Padacan depot into a strategic marketplace for food and agricultural products, complete with food manufacturing facilities and logistical support.
“It will help public interest if it will be converted into a public market. Let’s convert the whole Pandacan to a marketplace,” Petron president and CEO Ramon Ang said in an interview last week.
“Let it serve as a food depot for goods from Baguio, Batangas, and others. Then the price of goods will go down because deliveries won’t be blocked. The price of meat and vegetables can drop by 50 percent,” Ang said.
Petron’s proposal will cover only the oil company’s segment, which accounts for around 60 percent of the entire Pandacan oil depot.
Ang said the Pandacan depot should have a master plan and good infrastructure projects that would connect the area to nearby cities and provinces.
“What good is Pandacan if we don’t have a master plan? If we didn’t help design that there would be a drop-off point in the connector road there, what would Pandacan be? What would be its purpose? Will it be of use to anybody? It won’t have any value,” he added.
Ang said Petron still needs to talk with state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) regarding the depot because PNOC owns the property.
Asked if a master plan was already being developed for the Pandacan property, Ang said: “None yet but DOTr [Department of Transportation] will be developing the master plan and PNOC will cooperate with DOTr.”
The old Pandacan oil depot used to house the fuel storage facilities of the “Big Three” oil companies in the country –Petron, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp, and Chevron Philippines, Inc.
But in November 2014, a Supreme Court decision declared Manila City Ordinance No. 8187 — enacted in 2009 and which allowed Shell, Petron and Chevron to keep their oil depots in Pandacan — unconstitutional and invalid.
That 2009 ordinance had repealed a November 2001 precedent, Ordinance No. 8027 enacted during the administration of former mayor Jose L. Atienza, Jr., that reclassified parts of Pandacan and Sta. Ana districts as commercial from industrial on grounds of safety.