Pryce Gases Inc. (PGI) is offering its diesel and gasoline products at P1 lower than what the Big 3 petroleum giants are offering.

PGI president Rafael Escaño told reporters that effective September 1, his company is maintaining a P1 difference with Shell, Caltex and Petron in the pump prices of diesel and gasoline.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” he said, stressing that the move is part of his company’s corporate social responsibility.  Escaño said their company decided on the scheme after months of computation based on their own data.

“We have computed our pricing mechanism, and we have decided we can roll back our pump prices up to P1. Our computation is based on our own data,” he said.

The rollback is PGI’s alone, and has nothing to do with the Independent Petroleum Products Confederation of the Philippines, of which his elder brother, Salvador Escaño, is president.

However, the younger Escaño said he is hoping other small petroleum product dealers will follow his company’s move for the benefit of the public. “We are also hoping other independent dealers will follow suit. We are hoping this will snowball,” he said.

Escaño stressed that the more stations offering pump prices of diesel and gasoline lower than what the Big 3 is offering will be good for the market as it will hasten competition.

“Competition will cause the lowering of prices,” he said.

The P1 difference in the pump prices of diesel and gasoline compared with those of the Big 3 will be maintained in the more than 40 PGI stations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Whatever will be the existing pump price, we will be P1 lower in every station we have in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said, adding that pump prices of petroleum products vary from region to region or city to city.

The lower price offering, however, does not include PGI’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

PGI is selling biodiesel, premium gasoline and autogas in its station.

Ramon Tabor, chairman of the City Council Committee on Commerce and Trade and a city councilor, welcomed PGI’s announcement, saying this will be good for motorists.

Tabor is a strong critic to the Big 3 petroleum product dealers here for their faster-than-lightning move in implementing pump-price increases of their products, but move at a turtle’s pace when there is a rollback in pump prices.

The city council, through Tabor’s initiative, recently approved an ordinance punishing gas stations that fail to roll back their pump prices despite announcement of such by their mother companies in Manila.

Escaño, meanwhile, said he is ready for whatever negative reaction the Big 3 will have to his company’s move.

“We are ready of any possible reaction of the Big 3. We have a deregulated market and we are not violating any law,” he said.

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