2:46 am | Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
A gas station that has been providing the Muntinlupa City government with fuel cut off the supply on June 20 over a P6-million debt incurred by the previous administration for the first half of the year alone.
“We cannot finance your fuel requirements any further. Business [has not been] good lately considering the frequent movements [in the price] of fuel,” Lamuan Shell Gas Station Inc.-Alabang manager Cesar Libunao said in a letter to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, which was received on July 22.
Adding that the unpaid gas bills totaling more than P6.1 million and dating back to Feb. 18 up to June 20 would “go a long way to improving our cash flow position,” Libunao assured the mayor that the gas station would go back to supplying the city government with fuel once the debt was paid.
Fresnedi, who took over on June 30, said that the past administration ordered and did not pay for nearly P15 million worth of fuel in the last six months of then Mayor Alvin San Pedro’s term.
He estimated that the amount would cover around 300,000 liters of gas.
The billing statement sent by Libunao’s gas station to the Muntinlupa procurement office in June showed that the fuel orders during the six-month period ranged from as low as P1,863 from Feb. 18 to 20 to a high of P1.012 million from June 11 to 17.
On the other hand, there were 46 purchase orders placed between Jan. 13 and June 13 with the other gas supplier, EMG Shell Corp.-Putatan, based on the list provided to the Inquirer by the city procurement office. A single purchase order dated April 29 was for P956,522.07 worth of gas.
Fresnedi could only shrug and shake his head when asked why the past administration purchased a lot of fuel in its last six months in office. He noted that the consumption “was definitely not normal.”
Though Fresnedi admitted that he was still unfamiliar with the city government’s average fuel consumption or how many vehicles it has, he said that 40 liters of fuel a week worth around P2,000 seemed more than adequate for a government service vehicle since these were not used every day and only within city limits.
As part of the solution, he said he would ask the suppliers to prove that the purchased gasoline was used for government vehicles.
At the same time, Fresnedi assured residents that the city’s fuel needs were still being met by EMG Shell Corp.
The Inquirer tried to reach San Pedro for comment but calls to his cell phone went unanswered.