Cebu City Gov’t runs out of fuel

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


CEBU -- Without fuel, vehicles owned by the Cebu City Government may soon be forced off the road.

The supplier, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., stopped delivering diesel and unleaded gasoline to the City last Monday.

It will reportedly only resume delivery when the City settles its P1-million obligation.

According to its P105.3-million contract with the City, Phoenix is supposed to deliver an average of 200,000 liters of diesel and 45,000 liters of unleaded gasoline per month for a one-year period, beginning last January.

Ronald Melacora, officer-in-charge of the General Services Office (GSO), told Sun.Star Cebu on Thursday that they’ve been maximizing the use of their fuel reserves since Monday so as not to hamper the delivery of basic services.

However, the reserves, which only lasted until last Wednesday, were not enough to cover all the City’s vehicles, which currently number 1,182.

Of this total, 227 are motorcycles, 491 are light vehicles, 257 are big vehicles, and 157 are heavy equipment.

Priority

Badly affected are the heavy equipment of the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), said GSO’s administrative officer Trece Flores.

DEPW has ongoing projects that include, among others, the asphalting and widening of roads in Barangay Lorega, which was struck by a fire last month.

Asked if the City’s garbage collection has also been affected, Flores said they’ve made sure garbage trucks have enough fuel to go about their daily rounds.

Melacora said the GSO had to make an emergency purchase of diesel and unleaded gasoline on Thursday from Autogas. He said they may have to resort to this until the problem is solved.

“Grabe naman namong hangyo sa ila verbally gud nga di moundang og deliver but wala gyud. Di gyud sila (We begged them not to stop delivering fuel but they wouldn’t listen),” he said.

Being processed

Flores, for his part, said the City is processing the payment to Phoenix.

Because of the disruption, the City wants to terminate its contract with Phoenix.

“Phoenix should have discussed this with us. Dili kay diritso lang sila og putol (They can’t just stop delivering) without telling us. Di na pwede (That can’t be). Di ta mahimong hostage (We can’t be held hostage). Atong i-rescind ang (We will rescind the) contract,” said Dr. Lucelle Mercado, city administrator.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get a comment from Phoenix but repeated calls were left unanswered.

Once the contract is revoked, Mercado said, the City will conduct another bidding for the supply of diesel and unleaded gasoline. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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