By Myrna M. Velasco
The country’s three major oil companies – Petron Corporation, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation and Chevron – are re-establishing business partnership in a targeted P10 billion worth of investment that will transform the abandoned Pandacan oil depot into a food-and-bus terminal.
Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said the “re-development plan” for the idled oil depot has been submitted on Monday (June 3) to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.
“We have submitted this proposal with the DOTr secretary. We’re in discussion with him and we consulted him. We both came up with good ideas how to help the public transport to be better. He had also given us a lot of suggestions,” Ang stressed.
Once the project blueprint for the envisaged “Skyway Food and Bus Terminal” is concretized and set to life, the re-developed Pandacan terminal can easily accommodate up to 5,000 buses, according to Ang.
The planned bus terminal, he said, will be the main loading and unloading point for students and other travellers on and off the provinces – whether they are coming from the northern part of the country like the Ilocos region or from the southern core in the Bicol region.
Then these provincial passengers could also hail a bus from the Pandacan station that will take them to the airports – so it becomes a one-stop terminal with various connections to varying points of travel.
He noted that the defunct oil depot site is a vast property – with just the portion of Petron already spanning 25 hectares. Adding up to that tract will be the chunk of the properties owned by Shell and Chevron.
Ang indicated that initial discussions had already been carried out with the two other oil firms – and they are so far giving their nod to the prospective joint venture deal on the business proposition.
The food bit of the terminal, he said, will cater to a “central market” or delivery point for fresh vegetables and other farm produce, including livestock. Then there will be nipa hut or cottage-
type of restaurants wherein diners could choose fresh seafood, meat or vegetables and have them cooked on-site. In the Filipino culture, this is the “dampa type” of dining – and the Petron chief executive calls it the “ituro mo, iluluto namin” (choose and we’ll cook) genus of food tripping.
The estimated capital outlay of P10 billion, Ang explained, will be “an all-in cost” – factoring in all components of the planned transformation of the area – including the bus terminal; the central market; the roads that will connect the Pandacan bus stations to major thoroughfares in an out of Metro Manila; as well as the on-and-off ramp that will link the terminal to the Skyway.
“That’s the whole cost of the property development – up to the point that the area would be transformed into a tourist spot…the project components that are expensive will be the on-ramp and off-ramp to the Skyway and the roads,” Ang expounded.
And for the public transport sector – including the jeepneys, they could also have their link to their terminal so they can fetch and unload passengers from and to that area onward to their travel to other points or cities in Metro Manila.
“That way, we would be able to address the concerns also of the UV (utility vehicle) sector and there would be no job losses on their part,” Ang indicated.