THE Department of Energy (DOE) warned fuel refilling stations against “underselling” of fuel products to customers, saying it can shut down the establishments if these are caught doing it repeatedly.
In November alone, three fuel stations were fined after they were found to have underdelivered fuel or did not pump the correct volume of gasoline in their customers’ vehicles during a random inspection.
There were also other apprehensions in the past.
Engineer Rey Maleza, officer-in-charge of the Energy Industry Management Division of DOE Visayas, said underselling by 50 ml per 10 liters is acceptable considering there will be some evaporation.
Beyond the allowable limit, a fuel retail outlet will be fined P10,000 per nozzle or dispenser.
Maleza said DOE Circular 2017–11-001 provides that if a fuel station is caught more than three times, the agency should request the local government unit concerned to cancel the business permit of the violator so DOE can stop its operation without prejudice to the filing of charges.
He added that the DOE also required fuel stations to submit a copy of its supply agreement with the supplier and failure to do so would mean another penalty.
The absence of a supply agreement indicates the possibility of smuggling or the supplier did not register with the DOE, said Maleza.
DOE Visayas Director Saul Gonzales said that once the business permit of a violator is revoked, the DOE will also revoke the license it issued to the fuel retail station.
He said that as part of the DOE’s campaign against cheats in the industry, the agency requires all fuel retail stations to calibrate their dispenser every 90 days and check their fuel pump every week and write the results in a logbook.
“The contents in the logbook should be the basis of the consumers in determining if the fuel refilled to a vehicle is the right volume,” Gonzales said.
He also urged motorists to buy fuel from stations with cheaper gasoline or diesel products.
He said there is no such thing as superior fuel considering that there are only two fuel depots in the country for all the stations. EOB