Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SC Orders Transfer of Pandacan Oil Depot

The Supreme Court today ordered the transfer of the Pandacan oil depot as it dismissed a petition filed by the three major oil companies in the Philippines questioning the validity of a Manila City ordinance banning the oil depot at the Pandacan.

In its decision, the Court said a local government like Manila's has the right to implement ordinances to protect the welfare of its constituents.

On December 28, 2001, the city government of Manila implemented city ordinance no. 8029 re-classifying the Pandacan area where the oil depot is located from Industrial II to Commercial I.

In its findings, the local government said the presence of the oil depot in a densely populated area such as Pandacan posed a risk to its resident and nearby communities.

The Court cited an accident on January 23, 2008 when an oil tanker exploded along Nagtahan St. that killed a motorist and burned several vehicles.

"Need we say anything about what will happen if it is the estimated 162 TO 211 million liters of petroleum products in the terminal complex which blow up?" said the decision.

The Court gave the oil companies 90 days within which to submit their comprehensive relocation plan.

They can also appeal the decision within 15 days.

Oil companies however insist Pandacan is a suitable place for their operations.

In a statement, Petron said it will exhaust all legal means to stay in Pandacan.

"... At present, there are no viable relocation sites that have the adequate infrastructure," said the statement.

Chevron for its part said it believes Pandacan is the best location for their operations.

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