LPG cylinder swap measure will provide more jobs: TUCP-A A +A
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
THE Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) strongly favors the passage of a House bill that would progressively eliminate some six million worn- out liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders circulating in the open market, and replace them with new ones.
“We are counting on the bill’s LPG cylinder swapping program to energize domestic industries associated with the manufacture of new drums, and to produce badly-needed fresh employment in the process,” said former Senator Ernesto Herrera, TUCP secretary-general.
Herrera said the country used to have six companies employing thousands of workers engaged in the manufacture of LPG cylinders. However, the fabricators have since dwindled to just two, he pointed out.
“We have high hopes the program will also help revitalize the struggling domestic steel industry, which is quite labor-intensive,” said Herrera, former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.
“In fact, once the bill becomes law, the Department of Energy should consider recommending to the Board of Investments that all new LPG cylinder manufacturing activities be initially granted financial incentives, hopefully to further stimulate jobs creation,” he said.
Herrera said extra jobs would also be generated as a result of the mandatory rehabilitation of old LPG cylinders deemed still serviceable, and re-qualified under the program.
Besides protecting consumers from the hazards posed by substandard and potentially harmful cylinders, the former senator said the bill would promote the safety of the increasing number of laborers in LPG refilling stations across the country.
Herrera’s remarks came shortly after the House of Representatives passed on second reading the proposed Act Establishing the Regulatory Framework for the Safe Operations of the LPG Industry.
House Bill 5052 includes a one-time LPG Cylinder Exchange, Swapping and Rehabilitation Program, to advance the safe consumption of the cooking fuel by homes and commercial establishments.
The program aims to gradually remove and switch all low-grade and possibly unsafe cooking gas cylinders being passed around in the open market.
Herrera also expressed confidence that the bill, once enacted, would drive independent LPG refillers to produce their own cylinders, develop their brands, and to eventually expand their business and employment activities.
The House-approved bill, introduced by the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG/MA) sectoral party, was previously endorsed by the 55-member House committee on trade and industry. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2011.