Lim Airs Stand on the Oil Depot Controversy

Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim bewailed efforts by some Manila councilors to drag him into the oil depot controversy that was caused by a draft ordinance– prompted by appeals from other industrial locators in the surrounding area of the depot– that tried to make him look like it was his idea to prolong or extend the stay of the Big Three oil companies in their current site..

Mayor Lim in a press statement, said:

Attempts to link me to the issue on the City Ordinance reclassifying the land use of the portions of land where Pandacan oil depots are located, into commercial I zone and implicitly granting the Big Three Oil Companies their continued operation in the area are so dubious in terms of timing and intent, not to mention very misleading in content.

Once and for all, I have stressed time and again that I was not consulted about the ordinance which is still pending in the City Council

I also stated that if the draft ordinance (Ordinance 7177) reaches my table and I see that it contravenes the ruling of the Supreme Court, then I will veto it.

In general, if there is a Supreme Court Decision or any existing law, as long as it is not violated and it is for the highest interest of the city, I will approve it.

City Council Ordinance 8027 of November, 2001, Memorandum of Understanding entered by Department of Energy and the City Government of Manila with the Oil Companies, Resolutions No. 97 and 13 extending the period of stay for another 6 months and 3 months respectively, and Ordinance 8119 of June, 2006 which further gives extension up to 7 years were all penned by my predecessor and the City Councilors in the past years.

To briefly discuss the above- mentioned ordinances authored and passed by then and now Councilors Joy Dawis-Asuncion, Bonjay Isip-Garcia, Letlet Zarcal, who are now acting as saviors and crusaders of the issue which in truth and in fact have been created by themselves, it would be deemed that their crusade to stop the oil depots now is in conflict with what they have proposed and passed during the previous administration.

Let me emphasize here that Isip and Zarcal, who are the author/sponsor of Ordinance 8119 of June, 2006, granted a phase out period of seven years to the oil companies under Section 72 beginning from effectivity of the Ordinance, or until 2013. If the mere intention is indeed to remove the Pandacan Oil Depots, how come they have granted another seven (7) years for these oil companies to stay.

The Draft Ordinance 7177, which again, up to now has not passed the third and final reading, was meant for other companies such as: PHIMCO (Philippine Match Company) Industries, Inc. (who made the request initially to be granted to stay), Unilever Philippines, San Miguel Gas Plant, Manila Plastic Company, among others. The Big Oil Companies have just been mentioned to create the big controversy.

Genuine public service and good governance dictates that we must subdue selfish political agendas for the greater interest of our constituents. This I have, and continue to uphold.