Manila officials toured the Pandacan depot recently to check the progress of three oil firms under a Philippines Supreme Court order to vacate it.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada was accompanied by officials of Petron, Shell and Chevron during the August 17 inspection of the 33-hectare site, which the Supreme Court said should be cleared of fuel tanks by November this year.
Among the three oil companies, only Petron has dismantled all its fuel tanks and transferred these to their facilities in Navotas, a town in Metro Manila, and the provinces of Cavite and Bataan.
We have prepared for the transfer for the last five years, said Ramon Ang, president of Petron Philippines. As a symbol of our sincerity, we have defueled our area to signify that it is already safe. He lit a lighter to show that all traces of fuel have been removed from the area where Petrons facilities stood.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation president Edgar Chua said three of 14 tanks have been transferred to a refinery in Tabangao town in Batangas province.
It takes at least two to three days to dismantle a tank. Three tanks have been dismantled, 11 more are standing, he said.
Chevron Philippines had earlier stated that it has stopped using the Pandacan depot in June of 2014. The company is 40 percent complete with its demobilization and has shifted its former Pandacan operations to Batangas.
Citing safety and security reasons, the Supreme Court ordered the removal of the oil depot last November and denied an appeal by Shell in March.