Self-refilling gasoline stations, otherwise known as self-service gasoline stations, have been in existence in the United States for quite some time already. The primary distinguishing characteristic of this type of pump station is that the customers do all the work. It is the customers themselves who fill up their gasoline tanks, wipe their windshields, check their motor oils and pump air into their tires. The role of attendants, on the other hand, is quite limited to certain functions like cashier work and sales of additional services including oil changes and checking of car parts.
With the advent of globalization, foreign brands and technological know-how of different industries have somehow made its presence felt in the country. With this in mind, this article would like to discuss the feasibility of having Self-Refilling Gasoline Stations in the Philippines.
The following are the three main factors to consider:
SAVINGS: Customers basically do all the work in a self-refilling gasoline station. Therefore, salaries and other labor-related benefits (SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig) of employees are greatly reduced in the process, bringing a lot of short-term savings for the company.
On the other hand, typical investment for a gasoline station typically ranges between P5-7 million. Allowing various individuals to operate these machineries (air gauge, pump stations), who are without any formal training, would result in rapid wear-and-tear. Breaking down of the machineries might become more frequent, racking up unnecessary maintenance and repair losses in the process. Keeping this in mind, labor-related savings might actually be wiped out just the same.
SAFETY: Safety basically consists of two parts: Internal and External. Internal safety brings to light the higher probability of customers spilling gasoline, which would increase the risk of fire and explosion hazards. On the other hand, external safety deals with the risk of theft not only of personal belongings but also the very automobile of customers as well. In times where crimes are rampant in nature, having a driver go down and do the entire process by himself/herself becomes a risk in itself, unless of course if you have passengers waiting inside the car.
SURROUNDINGS: Two important things that gas stations must have and maintain are clean washrooms and petroleum-free flooring. With limited manpower for a self-service gasoline station, we can expect washrooms to be a whole lot filthier. If this becomes a problem, the depreciation of materials and properties might cause a lot of accidents, and nobody ever wants that.
All in all, a self-service gasoline station may initially look like a ton of savings, but a closer scrutiny at the three underlying factors reveal otherwise. So as for the question whether it’s feasible or not to bring it to the Philippines, the answer is a flat No.