A BUTANE factory in Danao City, northern Cebu was raided by the police and personnel from the Department of Energy in Central Visayas (DOE 7) after it was learned that the company was illegally refilling canisters of other brands.

Lawyer Russ Mark Gamallo, director of DOE 7, said the FMZ LPG Center in Barangay Dunggoan, Danao City, is legally operating as they have a permit from the DOE 7 to only manufacture and sell Botin and Halcon, the brand names of their products.

But after receiving a complaint from concerned citizens that aside from Botin, the company also refilled other brands, which is a violation of Presidential Decree 1865 or illegal trade of petroleum products, Gamallo said they immediately coordinated with the police to conduct a raid.

“Based sa complaint nga nadawat namo nga nag-refill ni siya og mga canisters nga dili apil sa iyang permit. Ang authorized nga maka-refill siya kining Botin ug Halcon, but based sa complaint nag-refill ni siyag laing product (Based on the complaint that we received, the company also refilled other canisters that are not stated in their permit. It is only authorized to refill Botin and Halcon, but not other brands),” according to Gamallo.

During the raid, 12 employees were arrested, while the company’s four refilling machines, canisters, compressor and other equipment worth around P2 million were confiscated.

Gamallo said FMZ LPG was issued a permit to operate in 2020 but resorted to refilling other butane brands the following year.

Gamallo said the DOE is willing to help expand the business of butane traders who do not engage in illegal activity. (AYB, BBT / TPT)