You read that headline right. San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and CEO Ramon Ang is willing to sell Petron Corporation back to the Philippine government, and he's serious about it too.
The remark was made by Ang during a hearing of the House Committee on Ways and Means on proposals to suspend the fuel excise tax due to rising oil prices worldwide. He said that the government can make an offer anytime if it is really interested in buying back the oil company.
“Yung sina-suggest na bilhin ng gobyerno yung Petron, anytime po puwede ko pa ipautang sa Philippine Government. Bilhin ninyo ito ng over five years to pay. I swear kung gusto ng gobyerno bilhin handa niyo na, sabihin niyo na, bebenta ko kaagad sa inyo. Pagawan niyo na ng valuation immediately,” said Ang.
(Those suggesting the government buy back Petron, I can sell it to the Philippine government anytime. They can even buy it for over five years to pay. I swear, if the government wants to buy it, just tell us and I will sell it immediately. Prepare a valuation immediately.)
For those unfamiliar, Petron Corporation used to be owned by the Philippine government through the Philippine National Oil Company. It wasn't until 2010 that SMC take over operations of the business. In 2020, the company recorded a loss of PHP 18 billion, which can be attributed to the pandemic, along with the lockdowns, which halted nearly all forms of transportation.
“Kung sa tingin niyo jackpot yung negosyong iyan, let the government buy it at the market [value] lang. Hindi ko kailangan tubuan ang gobyerno,” Ang said.
(If you think the business is a jackpot, let the government buy it at the market valuation. I don't need to profit from the government.)
The House Committee on Ways and Means is currently discussing a proposal to suspend the excise taxes on fuel products given the current high oil prices. Assuming the Philippine government does buyback Petron from Ramon Ang, will this actually make fuel prices go down? Let us know what you think in the comments.