Press Release
October 5, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said the government must maintain a mechanism to ensure adequate oil supply in the country even when it sells its remaining 40% stake in Petron Corp.

Roxas added the sale of the Petron shares must be transparent and open to public scrutiny to avoid another case of discredited privatization scheme of the government.

The Asset Privatization Council has cleared the way for the Department of Finance to sell the 40% stake estimated to be worth P25 billion before yearend to lower the budget deficit.

"Bago natin isipin kung magkano ang kikitain ng gobyerno sa bentahang ito, kailangang may mailagay na sistema ang ating pamahalaan para masiguro na laging may sapat na supply ng langis sa ating bansa," Roxas said.

With the world economy in jitters following the US financial crisis, Roxas said the government must assure Filipinos it can deal with any oil supply problem, including securing adequate supply agreements with friendly oil-producing countries like fellow ASEAN members Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

He noted that selling Petron would deprive the government of control over the company, traditionally seen as buffer to supply and price manipulation by other players in the oil industry,

"The government has to show the public it can deal with any crisis, whether it be on oil supply or dealing with the impact of the US financial crisis. Ang papel ng gobyerno ngayon ay bigyang seguro ang publiko na hindi lalong lalala ang kanilang paghihirap," the Ilonggo senator said.

Earlier this year, London-based Ashmore Ltd. purchased a majority stake in Petron from Saudi Aramco, which had a 40% stake, and through tender offers to the public.

News Latest News Feed