Petrol ration frustrations

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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HELP FROM PAGO: The Fotu Samoa boat leaving Pagopago with fuel worth of U.S$50,000 heading to Samoa.   Photo credit: Amy Letuli of Sunrise Oil company in Pagopago

HELP FROM PAGO: The Fotu Samoa boat leaving Pagopago with fuel worth of U.S$50,000 heading to Samoa. Photo credit: Amy Letuli of Sunrise Oil company in Pagopago

A limit imposed on petrol sale that became effective yesterday has frustrated some customers.

A reliable source said that fuel from Pago Pago worth US$50,000 is being shipped over to accommodate the shortage. 

The restriction does not include diesel, jet or kerosene sales. 

One of those affected from the limited petrol sale was Galusina To’omaga from Lefaga. 

The mother who stopped at a petrol station in Vaitele area threw a fit when she was told she could only buy $30 tala worth of petrol. 

“That only takes me to Lefaga and not back to town,” she said.

“What’s more frustrating is they had left it to today to make it effective and give out the warning. I live in the rural area and the only reason why I come to town is to fill up my car then I go back and do my errands in the village.”

Mrs. Toomaga said it was inconsiderate for the petrol stations to turn people away. 

“They have to be flexible about how much we can buy keeping in mind that not everyone lives around town,” she said. 

“If cars can run on water I wouldn’t be too fussed but unfortunately in this life everything has a price to pay and this is one of those.”

Another unhappy customer was Togatolu Siliese from Aleisa. 

The father who makes several trips to town to pick up his children and back to his plantation was disappointed about the delay of notice. 

While Mr. Siliese was forgiving that things like this happen he pointed out that not everyone was treated the same. 

“What I had seen is some petrol stations they had a limited sale for each customer,” he said. 

“But as soon as someone they know or had money to tip them it was quite easy for them to bend the rules. 

“This is Samoa where everyone knows someone and its disappointing that us farmers who need petrol to come to town to pick up our children and go back to the plantations can’t bend those rules if we don’t know them.”

Down at the Toleafoa gas station, they had to close off the petrol pumps before lunch yesterday as they had run out of supply. 

Just down at the station in Taufusi they had imposed $30tala for each customer as many people queued up to fill in their cars. 

At Vailoa and Vaitele Farmer Joe stations they had not rationed their sales.  

In response to an email from the Samoa Observer, Petrol and Product Supply Chief Executive Officer, Fanene Etuale Sefo said the normal supply of petrol would resume tomorrow (Saturday). 

He explained that each service station has been allocated a certain volume of petrol for each day. 

“It is up to each service station to ration their sales accordingly,” he said. 

“This will help ensure our current stocks last until the tanker arrives. These measures only affect petrol…diesel and kerosene and jet fuel are not affected.”

 According to a press release from P.P.S, it had advised that tanker originally scheduled to arrive in Apia on 8th March has been delayed until 11th March due to technical issues at the loading port. 

It added that the tanker is required to give berthing priority in Suva, Fiji to other ships with emergency relief goods needed as a consequence of cyclone Winston. 

“Some disruption to the supply of petrol to service stations may result from the delay in the tanker. In an effort to manage the situation, a temporary measure will be put in place whereby service stations will ration the sale of petrol by imposing a limit on sales to each customer effective from today (yesterday).”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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