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DOE warns consumers not to buy unregulated LPG products

DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Energy (DOE) Mindanao Field Office has again warned the public against patronizing unlicensed and unregulated sellers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as their products remain among the causes of fire in many urban areas like Davao City.

The DOE field office here continues to advocate against unlicensed and unregulated LPGs by enforcing the provisions of Republic Act 11592 or the LPG Industry Reform Acts of 2021 since its implementation in January 2023.

Rodolfo Leal, Jr., DOE-Mindanao LPG Section Senior Science Specialist, warns the public against buying LPG products from an unlicensed seller.

The campaign is to ensure that all business establishments, including small retail stores and delivery services that sell or engage in LPG products, have a license to operate (LTO), and that their LPG products follow the standard guidelines in handling, storing, transporting, and distributing the said products.

DOE-Mindanao LPG section senior science specialist Rodolfo Leal, Jr. said that part of their campaign is to go after stores operating without LTO, including delivery services, and those illegally refilling LPG tanks or canisters.

Leal cited that the recent fire incident at a congested urban community in Davao City was caused by an explosion of a cooking stove that used an LPG canister that was illegally refilled.

The public must always make sure to buy LPG from authorized suppliers with physical stores and not from promotional leaflets, Leal reminded during the Philippine Information Agency Region XI’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on January 15. 

He said that buying LPG products through delivery service has been widespread in many residential areas and cities in the country, especially among households that are too busy to go to the authorized stores.

“Kaning LTO ginasiguro nga ang tanang tindahan nakapasar gyud sa standard sa pagpamaligya sa LPG. Pasabot ang tindahan naay facility nga dapat anaa bago mamaligya, ug safe (The LTO ensures that all stores passed the standards in selling LPG. This means that the store has the facility first before selling, and it is safe),” he explained.

The LTO also indicates that the business establishment is authorized to sell LPG products from the mother company or suppliers that produce and supply a certain brand of LPG.

Under the new law, those establishments operating without LTO will be fined P5,000 per operation day from the day of inspection until such time that the appropriate LTO is secured from the DOE.

Suppliers who supply LPG products to the flagged stores will also be fined P10,000 per LPG cylinder, while those conducting illegal refilling of LPG in their backyards will be fined P1 million.

“Dapat ang mga LPG cylinders, sa refilling plant or sa mga brand owners nga refilling plant lang gyud mag-refill (The LPG cylinders must be refilled in the refilling plants or in its brand owners),” he emphasized.

The Department of Energy (DOE) inspects the compliance of all business establishments that sell LPG products in terms of securing a valid license to operate (LTO) before going into business. (Photo courtesy of DOE)

Consumers are also advised to always check the LPG tank’s seal, whether there is a company seal or the seal is not compromised, to ensure that the acquired LPG tanks are in good condition.

Leal also reminded the consumers to always check the weight of the LPG tank, saying, “Even those delivered, there must also be a weighing scale to check the accurate weight before accepting the product.”

He admitted, though, that they have difficulties going after those delivery services operating without physical stores.

However, he said that they are collaborating with other government agencies to help with the campaign.

The Department of Energy (DOE), with its partner agencies, regularly conducts inspections of all business establishments that sell LPG products to ensure their facilities and LPG products adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Republic Act 11592 or the LPG Industry Reform Acts of 2021. (Photo courtesy of DOE)

Meanwhile, DOE-Mindanao conducted a series of inspections of some LPG establishments in Cagayan de Oro City last week.

In Davao City, Leal said that they will be conducting a surprise inspection of all LPG establishments and stores around the months of January and February this year. (ASO/PIA-XI/Thumbnail photo from PNA)

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Antonino Oblianda

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