Press Release
August 18, 2006

Cost of clean-up just a drop in its barrel of profits - Recto

Petron Corp. is awash with cash that it can clean up the oil-washed beaches of Guimaras which has been blackened by the 2 million liters of bunker fuel seeping from a sunken oil barge it owns.

The amount needed for the clean up is just a drop in its barrel of profits, Sen Ralph Recto said.

Riding on high oil prices, 2005 was a banner year for Petron, the industry leader which controls 38 percent of the market.

Recto said the 2005 net income of Petron surged to P5.765 billion from P3.886 billion the previous year, or an increase of 48 percent.

This was on gross sales of P191.2 billion, up 29 percent from the 2004 level of P147.5 billion.

Its earning per share improved to 61 centavos from 2004s 41 centavos.

Petron paid an income tax of P2 billion.

Petrons financials show that it can easily accommodate the request of some LGUs in Guimaras and Iloilo for financial assistance in the clean up of more than 200 kilometers of coasts polluted by the oil slick.

One town was asking for P2.5 million in assistance and clearly this is within the capability of Petron to grant, he said.

Figures dont lie. Petron cant invoke lack of income in rejecting well-meaning requests for assistance, he said.

To its credit, Petron has been pro-active in the way it is handling the crisis, Recto said. Now is the time for it to renew its good corporate citizenship credentials, he added.

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