THE Department of Energy (DOE) advised Philippine Ecogas Producers Cooperative (PEPC) to monitor the movement of their Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, otherwise retailers may illegally refill them.
DOE Visayas Legal Division Chief Mark Russ Gamallo said that PEPC’s LPG cylinders are approved by DOE after PEPC obtained the Standard Compliance Certificate (SCC) as a marketer.
Gamallo said PEPC cylinders are the “legal alternative” of the “illegal butane canisters,” which are continuously being apprehended by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) as these cause fires in several areas.
Empty butane canisters must be disposed of once empty. However, unscrupulous businessmen refill the canisters with LPG, thus making these vulnerable to explosion because the canister is design only for butane.
The PEPC canisters, which are sturdier, are designed for LPG, and thus legal. However, marketers, dealers and retailers must be issued an SCC.
“If an end-user will buy LPG cylinder from a sari-sari store without SCC, even if the LPG cylinder is legal, they will be arrested and penalized,” Gamallo said.
As of now, the PEPC is the authorized marketer of LPG cylinders, with 50 retailers that issued SCCs. If the retailers will secretly refill the cylinders, that is illegal, he said.
“PEPC must police its rank. Otherwise, it will suffer business losses as it has a memorandum of agreement with Phoenix to refill it with quota. Phoenix is the only authorized PEPC LPG cylinder refiller. So, refilling the cylinders with LPG other than Phoenix is illegal,” Gamallo said.
Gamallo also warned household buyers that once they are caught buying LPG cylinders from retailers that illegally refilled these, they will be included in the arrest and penalty.
“The dealer or retailer must display the SCC in public view. If a buyer cannot see that, he must demand to see it. Otherwise that store is not authorized by DOE and is subject to arrest,” Gamallo said. (EOB)