Cebu

Cebu governor sets cap on fuel purchases to prevent hoarding

Lorraine Ecarma
Cebu governor sets cap on fuel purchases to prevent hoarding

Residents queue for medicines, gas and harware materials after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in Cebu City on December 17, 2021. Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in Cebu province, hoarding and reselling of fuel become rampant. In some areas, prices even double due to increased demand and long queues of motorists waiting to gas up.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Beginning Wednesday, December 22, residents of Cebu province are allowed to fill up only their vehicles’ fuel tanks and power generators, and “shall be prohibited from filling barrels, drums, and other containers for fuel” when they go to authorized gas stations.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order No. 50 to regulate fuel purchases, a move that is seen to prevent hoarding in all the towns in the province.

Garcia said Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama considered issuing a similar order in the city during their coordination meeting with representatives of fuel companies and owners of oil tankers on Tuesday, December 21.

The capitol, however, allowed fuel purchases for power generators provided that those who buy could show proof first that it would be used to meet power requirements, especially of essential establishments, hospitals, banks, and hotels. This means buyers would be required to present photos, documents, or receipts to show that the fuel would be used for their establishments’ power needs. 

To avoid abuse, Garcia said those buying fuel for household power generator are only allowed to buy 10 liters per household.

The capitol also prohibited fuel dealers and gasoline stations from further increasing pump prices “beyond existing rates” in the province.

Days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, hoarding and reselling of fuel became rampant, and in some areas prices even doubled due to increased demand and long queues of motorists waiting to gas up.

In Cebu City, Rama ordered law enforcers not to allow long queues of vehicles beyond the premises of fuel stations during the day. He said the lines cannot extend to roads to the point that the flow of vehicular traffic is obstructed.

“Resistance or refusal to abide by this rule shall authorize the Cebu City Transportation Traffic Office (CCTO) and other law enforcement officer[s] to do all necessary act[s] to immediately remove the offending vehicle(s) from obstructing the flow of traffic, and [the] offending driver shall be issued a traffic citation ticket,” Rama ordered.

Lining up away from gas stations is only allowed from 8 pm to 6 am, and every motorist in Cebu City can only draw a maximum of 20 liters of fuel per purchase.

After Odette devastated Cebu, motorists have gone to the extent of camping out on the road shoulders just to wait for their turn to gas up. 

Many gas stations were damaged and those that reopened have become dependent on power generation sets, preventing them from operating full blast. – Rappler.com