THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Davao reported that at least two individuals were charged for their involvement in illegal refilling of empty butane canisters with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Davao City.
Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil Gillado, Investigation Section chief of BFP-Davao, said during a press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Wednesday. August 28, that authorities were able to apprehend the violators for doing illegal business.
Gillado said the filing of the case against the violators was facilitated by the Bunawan Police and Sta. Ana Police.
He said the first apprehension happened on July 3 after about 3,000 alleged LPG refilled butane canisters were intercepted at the checkpoint in Kilometer 24, Inabanga, Bunawan, Davao City.
The other incident took place at Mini Forest, Barangay 23-C after the barangay captain turned over the suspect to the police station.
The suspects were apprehended for violation of the Presidential Decree (PD) 1865 or Illegal Trading of Petroleum Products.
PD 1865 prohibits illegal trading of petroleum and/or petroleum products; adulteration of finished petroleum products, or possession of adulterated finished products for the purpose of sale, distribution, transportation, exchange or barter and underdelivery or underfiling beyond authorized limits in the sale of petroleum products or possession of underfilled liquefied petroleum gas cylinder for the purpose of sale, distribution, transportation, exchange or barter, among others.
The violators can also be charged criminally and shall be fined from P20,000 to P50,000, or imprisoned for at least two to five years, or both.
Gillado said a task force, led by the Business Bureau, has been established against selling and refilling of butane and BFP is one of its members.
He noted that there were some fire incidents that were caused by butane, adding that the public must also stop patronizing these products because of the danger they pose especially on the lives and the properties of the consumers.
"Yong mga refilled na butane canister is hindi na 'yan ang laman niyan [instead] LPG na ni-refill. So i-compare natin siya sa original na butane, mas malakas kasi 'yong LPG, 10 times stronger than the original butane. It is composed of butane and propane. Kung tingnan natin 'yong container ng LPG, makapal na bakal rounded siya purposely," Gillado said.
"Ang LPG kasi meron siyang sariling pressure kaya hindi pwedeng magkaroon ng corner ang kanyang container kasi kung merong corner, doon magfo-focus 'yong pressure niya. Ngayon inilipat mo doon sa canister, which is manipis lang na lata tapos hindi yan siya welded, may corners, talagang delikado siya," he added.
If exposed to heat, refilled butane canisters have a tendency to explode.
"Talagang napaka delikado niya kaya dini-discourage natin siya. Kasi mura siya kaya pina-patronize ng ating public. Continuous and counting talaga ang pagdi-discourage natin," Gillado said.