Aquino not keen on buyback of Petron Bataan refinery

October 18, 2011 9:49 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 18 — President Benigno S. Aquino III rejected the offer of Petron to sell back its Bataan refinery to the government, saying it’s not in the best interest of the state to operate such refinery.

“I think this is the public position I’ve had since the time I’ve been in public service — hindi efficient kapag government ang nagpapatakbo ng something that has purely business applications,” the President said in a chance interview with the Malacanang Press Corps at the 110th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday.

The government should remain a regulator instead of a player to ensure sound business practices, the Chief Executive said. Repurchasing Petron may lead to another burden for the government and the public.

The President said he did not think that the oil companies were not happy with their current situation, that was why Petron wanted to dispose its Bataan refinery.

“They have to be very sensitive to the consumers’ sentiments and perhaps this is a way of addressing that,” he said.

Petron chairman and chief executive officer Ramon Ang offered Petron’s refinery, the largest in the country, to the government.

Petron, now controlled by San Miguel Corp., was owned by the Philippine government before it had an initial public offering in 1994. Ang said Petron could appoint a third party assessor to establish the valuation and set the deal structure for the Bataan refinery for its possible sale. (PNA) RMA/PCOO/ssc

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