Ramon Ang open to selling Petron back to gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — Business tycoon and San Miguel Corporation chief executive officer Ramon Ang has offered to sell Petron Corporation back to the Philippine government through a five-year installment payment scheme.
During the House committee on ways and means hearing on Monday, Ang raised the possibility — albeit with a warning about possible losses.
Ang is willing to sell Petron if the government thinks it is a profitable business, noting that he has lost P18 billion in the past year.
“‘Yong sina-suggest na bilhin ng gobyerno ang Petron, privatization, anytime po, pwede ko pa ipautang sa Philippine government, bilhin ninyo ito nang over five years to pay,” the SMC boss told lawmakers.
(They were suggesting that the government buy Petron, reverse the privatization, anytime, I can sell the company to the Philippine government through installment, buy it for over five years to pay.)
“Last year we lost P18 billion, you can check that, in Petron, so hindi kami ‘yong nagkukunya-kunyari dito ngayon. Ngayon kung sa tingin niyo, jackpot ‘yong negosyong ‘yan, let the government buy it, at market valuation lang. Hindi ko kailangangang tubuan ang gobyerno. Salamat po,” he added.
(Last year, we lost P18 billion, you can check that, in Petron, so we are not playing dumb here today. Now, if you think you will hit the jackpot with this business, let the government buy it at market valuation only. I don’t need to earn from the government. Thank you.)
Ang was present in the House panel’s hearing about the possibility of removing excise taxes on oil products due to rising fuel prices to share his views on high oil prices.
Lawmakers are exploring the possibility of suspending or stopping the collection of excise taxes from fuel products, as mandated by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Ang urged the government to let public utility vehicles buy fuel from independent and minor players in the oil industry, as they sell fuel at a less high price — around P10 per liter less than what major companies like Petron can offer.
Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc then questioned Ang’s suggestions, with Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite saying that he has not seen an independent oil company selling fuel cheaper by P10 per liter compared to Petron’s offerings. They also explored Petron’s possibility of returning to the government — decades after the government privatized it in 1993.
Ang said that he would be ready to sell the company anytime after a company’s market valuation has been made.
“Ano ho ‘yan, I swear, kung gusto ng gobyerno bilhin, handa niyo na, sabihin niyo na, at ibebenta ko kaagad sa inyo. Pagawan niyo na ng valuation immediately, walang arte-arte,” he added.
(That’s true, I swear if the government wants to buy that, let’s prepare it, tell me, and I would immediately sell that to you. Let’s have a valuation immediately, without frills.)
Oil prices have surged in the past few months, as prices of gasoline and other petroleum products have gone up by more than P7 per liter in less than two months.
In some areas, unleaded gasoline prices have risen to over P70 per liter and over P60 per liter for diesel fuel.
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