THE Department of Energy (DOE) is now including registered gasoline stations in their investigation to crack down the proliferation of “bote-bote” retailers as these could also be the source for the sellers.

“Naay mga gasoline stations na baba kaayo og presyo so basig naga baligya na silag low quality (There are some cheap selling gasoline stations that might have produced low quality of petroleum),” DOE-Mindanao chief research specialist Engineer Nilo J. Geroche said.

With cheaper price, the “bote-bote” retailers are getting more customers.

He said that although no registered gasoline stations in Davao City has been caught selling low quality gasoline and diesel, penalties await those who will be caught.

“We started receiving complaints since January and these are not just in Davao but in all other areas in Mindanao,” Geroche said.

He added there is a continuous inspection and monitoring in Davao City though.

In Agusan and Surigao Del Norte, Geroche said they sent a team from DOE to do sampling and inspection as they suspect that suppliers of low quality petroleum products operate there.

He said that these suspected suppliers will be asked to provide samples of their petroleum products to be tested by the department.

“But for the qualities of their petroleum, we send the samples to the DOE Manila for analysis,” he said.

According to him, DOE haa already discussed with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in January 2016 regarding the strengthening of ties with LGUs to crack down on these small retailers.

Genoche discouraged the public in patronizing ‘botebote’. He said that these are usually connected with illegal activities such as smuggling.

Instead he encouraged everyone to buy from legitimate gasoline stations.

“At least kung may reklamo kayo, pwede ninyong puntahan ang gasoline station. Pero sa ‘botebote’ eh lugi na kayo, talo pa (If ever you have complains, you can go to the gasoline station you have purchased your products. But in ‘botebote you can’t),” he said. (BLC)