By Chito Chavez
Several Quezon City councilors have asked local and other concerned agencies to conduct strict random inspections of fuel pumps of service stations in the city to avoid short-changing the public still reeling from increases in oil prices and inflation rate.
Councilors Allan Benedict Reyes, Victor Ferrer Jr., and Eufemio Lagumbay agreed the unannounced inspections of fuel pumps and other similar actions in the gas stations of the city will ease the burden of motorists especially drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
Numerous complaints about short selling have flooded the office of Reyes in the past prompting him to ask city hall to conduct the inspection.
“In my rounds in the third district, drivers of PUV have informed me of the possibility of some gasoline stations short selling them. They complained that the rising prices of fuel have become a liability much more so of if the gas station owners are short selling them,’’ Reyes said.
Julius Avenido of the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) wants the city council to amend the ordinance that will impose stiffer penalties with prison terms against erring gas station owners and establishments selling fuel products.
“If it is feasible, I prefer a one strike policy similar to what is being done in the PNP (Philippine National Police),’’ Avenido said.
He also called for the approval of a law that calls for all retail outlets and similar establishments to have their pumps calibrated once a month and for these pumps to be sealed by the proper authority.
Uncalibrated dispensing pumps and those not delivering the correct quantity of sales shall be clearly marked ‘out-of-order” and padlocked until they are recalibrated and resealed by an authorized city personnel.
He stressed that there is a need to amend the existing ordinance to “give more teeth’’ to the law which prohibits short-selling and illegal trading of gasoline in the city.
“There should be stiffer fines on the malpractice as hard times and the soaring prices of gasoline have become an additional financial burden to the public,’’ Avenido added.
“It is imperative that the city government should make sure that the consuming public gets the corresponding quantity of products for their money,’’ he asserted.
In the past, Ferrer said a number of gasoline retail outlets in the city have engaged in the short-selling of gas and illegal trading to the detriment of the gasoline-buying public.
“To address this problem, I would suggest the city council update and amend measures to make them more responsive to the pressing needs of the Quezon City constituents,’’ Ferrer said.