Getting Prepared For The Philippines > Driving and Vehicles in RP

Be careful at the gas station - you might get fleeced


Hello folks,

My wife and I arrived in the Philippines last week, and as usual, are having tonnes of fun, not least because we no longer have to pile on layer upon layer of clothing just to go to the corner store in Montreal at this time of the year.

Anyway, we went out to eat last Friday and on our way back, stopped at a Shell station in Balibago, Angeles. I asked the attendant for 1000 pesos in regular unleaded gas, and turned down his offer to clean the windshield. A few minutes later he was done, and had the biggest smile on his face when I handed him the fee along with a little something for his possible outing later that night. However, on the expressway a few minutes later, I looked at the gas gauge and realized the needle was not even at the half-tank point. We then realized that that smile on the young man\'s face had probably had more to do with having fleeced the foreigner than with having received the tip. Our car is a small Lancer, and 1000 pesos usually takes us from zero to about a 3/4 reading on the gauge.

Anyway, the next day, I returned to the station and talked to the manager, who promised to look into it. I wasn\'t expecting any restitution, and none was offered.

This is just to warn you when you show up at gas stations here, since unlike in North America, where self-serve is overridingly the norm, here in the Phils, you get \"full service\" by default. So please just make sure the pump reading starts at zero, and then make sure you watch the attendant until he is done. Of course, my experience of getting fleeced once in 4 years of driving here indicates that the problem is extremely rare - but nonetheless possible.

A bon entendeur - salut!!!

Eric Kwati
Angeles, Pampanga


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