Inputs of Cabinet members on Pandacan depot issue enlightening — Mayor Lim

May 26, 2009 2:09 pm 

MANILA, May 26 — The inputs of the members of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Cabinet on the fate of the Pandacan oil depot were enlightening to him, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said today.

“I would like to thank President Arroyo, the Executive Secretary and Cabinet members for sharing with us their opinions,” Lim said in a press briefing after the Pandacan depot stakeholders’ meeting this morning held at the Petron office in Pandacan, Manila.

Lim said he will consider the inputs of Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, among other Cabinet members, in making his decision on whether to approve or veto the controversial Manila City Council Resolution No. 7177 on the 36-hectare property.

“I have to study the matter in order to arrive at a proper solution until Thursday (May 28),” Lim said.

Lim said Reyes was worried over a possible disruption of oil supplies and a possible increase in oil prices by P2 to P3.

Roque expressed apprehension over the possible displacement of workers in case the oil companies — Shell, Petron and Caltex — have to relocate.

According to Lim, Favila expressed fears over the international implications of relocating the oil depots, saying it will send a wrong signal to investors.

Lim also said that the oil companies have made firm assurances that they do not intend to stay in Pandacan forever even if relocating would be very expensive.

As to security concerns, Lim said the “Big 3” also assured him that there is no danger of a conflagration in the area as the depots have built-in mechanisms that will immediately contain any fire outbreak.

Lim said the oil companies also asserted that their products are non-pollutants.

In a related development, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said the President will only give her opinion on the Pandacan depot issue once she gets the feedback on the ongoing dialogues with stakeholders. (PNA) scs/OPS/ssc

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