(STAR) By Ted Torres - All oil companies rolled back yesterday the pump prices of several petroleum commodities ó including premium gasoline, unleaded gasoline and kerosene ó by P1 per liter inclusive of the value-added tax (VAT).

The prices of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), however, remain unchanged.

Oil firms also assured the public that the discounted price of diesel products exclusively for public utility vehicles would continue to be offered in selected stations nationwide.

Chevron Philippines (formerly Caltex), Pilipinas Shell and Petron Corp. rolled back prices early yesterday morning while the rest adjusted prices at noon.

Eastern Petroleum, Total Philippines, Unioil Petroleum, Flying V and SeaOil Petroleum rolled back pump prices at lunch time yesterday.

Thus, the prices of unleaded gasoline will range from P41.79 to P43.50 per liter, unleaded gasoline prices will range from P41.16 to P42.87 per liter, and kerosene will range from P39.19 to P42 per liter.

Diesel will remain at the range of P35.29 to P37 per liter and LPG prices from P460 to P521 per 11-kilog cylinder.

World price of Dubai crude stood at $67.86 per barrel as of Aug. 23. The average price per barrel of Dubai crude for the month of August so far is $69.58.

For the month of July, average price was $69.17, and for the month of June, $65.22, and for May, $65 per barrel.

Highest price ever recorded for Dubai crude was $72.29 registered on July 17 this year.

Meanwhile, new oil players have volunteered their services and expertise to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the National Disaster Control council (NDCC) to help clean up the oil spill in Guimaras.

"We are volunteering to help contain the damage by bringing in our oil spill boom from Eastern Petroleum Corp., several drums and pails of the oil dispersant chemicals from Sea Oil, Unioil and the Flying V group," said Ferdinand Martinez, chairman of the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) and president of Eastern Petroleum.

Martinez said they are coordinating their efforts with the DOTC and the Coast Guard.

"We will also be sending a team this weekend to help in the actual cleanup," Martinez added.

RP to sell biggest property in Tokyo By Donnabelle L. Gatdula The Philippine Star 08/25/2006

The Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday that it will sell its biggest property in Tokyo, Japan within the year.

Finance Undersecretary Gaudencio Mendoza Jr. in an interview with reporters said this move will allow the government to increase its revenues to finance its infrastructure projects and social services.

Mendoza said the bids and awards committee (BAC) will meet anytime next week to finalize the terms of reference of the planned privatization of the Fujimi or Kudan property.

The Finance official said the asset is a major real estate property of the Philippines in Japan which is located in the prime commercial and residential district of Fujimicho, Chiyoda-ku in Tokyo, Japan.

He said the lot size is at 4,361.85 square meters. It is also the site of the residence of the Philippine ambassador to Japan.

According to Mendoza, the Office of the President has approved the DOFís request to fasttrack the property auction to raise more funds for the government.

It was learned that the government still has to determine the latest valuation of the property before it firms up the terms of reference for the sale this year.

So far, the Philippine government, through the DOF, has already signed the 50-year service development agreements with Berg Co. Ltd for the Naniwa-Cho property that carried a net present value of •759.3 million (P334.85 million) and Obanoyama property with a net present value of •449.6 million (P198.27 million).

Berg would spend •827.9 million (P365.10 million) and •490.2 million (P216.18 million) in development fees for the Naniwa-Cho and Obanoyama properties, respectively. Both properties are in Kobe, Japan.

It has also recently entered into a service development agreement with the Nagayama-Taisei consortium for the right to develop the four-story building that has a floor area of 2,489 square meters in Nampeidai in Tokyo, Japan.

The DOF, however, has yet to receive the •480 million (P211.68 million) service development fee from the Nagayama-Taisei consortium.

Based on the Nagayama-Taisei groupís proposal, it will construct a building on the property worth •1.7 billion (P749.70 million) and pay the government an additional •480 million (P211.68 million).

The Japanese group would, in turn, reserve 22 percent of the building for the exclusive use of the government, specifically to house the Philippine consulate. The duration of the development and lease agreement is 50 years.

President Arroyo, in her state-of-the-nation address promised to undertake 90 projects which will need a funding of P370 billion funding.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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