Petron employees make last-ditch call to save refinery

    Closure looms. The 180,000 barrel-per-day Petron refiner in Bataan fdirectly employs 1,000 personnel and has at least 2,500 third-party service contractors.

    Employees of Petron Corp. are calling for the classification of its oil refinery as part of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) to secure tax relief and avert the closure of the facility by next month.

    The employees led by Thom de Villa, a shift supervisor, have asked Limay Mayor Nelson David to make representations in making the facility part of FAB where its imports of crude would come in tax-free.

    The 180,000 barrel-per-day facility directly employs 1,000 personnel and has at least 2,500 third party service contractors.

    “A lot of measures (have been) implemented by the company to keep Petron afloat.

    However, (these are not) not enough and we hope with the help of the local government of Limay, the national government can hear our plea,” De Villa said.

    In earlier statements, Ramon Ang, Petron president, said refiners are at a disadvantage since they have to pay tax on crude upfront, while finished products are levied taxes once sold in the market.

    Ang in previous pronouncements also scored illegal importation of petroleum products which are sold at much cheaper prices.

    Ang had earlier called for policy reforms in the face of a possible permanent shutdown of Bataan’s refinery.

    FAB locators which are mostly export are entitled to a host of tax breaks.