THE task of running after the illegal peddling and retailing of petroleum products lies in the local government units (LGU), an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said during the Capacity Enhancement Training for Energy Journalist at General Santos City, Thursday, April 7.

Jesus Tamang, Director IV Energy Policy and Planning Bureau of DOE, told reporters that it is a challenge of LGU officials to step up and take actions on the prevalence of illegal peddling of petroleum products.

Tamang discouraged motorists from patronizing petroleum products sold in bottles along highways and remote areas even if they cost cheaper compared to those sold by legitimate gasoline dealers.

“We should not buy gasoline in a bote-bote because it is dangerous. It should be the LGU to run after them,” Tamang said.

He also said that the quality of petroleum products sold in bottles cannot be guaranteed since these are not properly handled.

“Maybe they want to expand the network na makaabot sa kasulok-sulokan yung gasolina but it should not be,” Tamang said.

Tamang said the DOE would look into the reasons why the retailing of petroleum products has become rampant.

Possible smuggling

“We’ll take on the possibility of smuggling because even on-shore or off-shore yung tinatawag nating ‘paihi’ is still considered smuggling,” Tamang said.

The DOE also vowed to review the discrepancy on the prices of petroleum products which vary from one place to another.

Meanwhile, the City Council Committee on Energy is finalizing the ordinance that prohibits illegal retailing and peddling of petroleum products in the city.

Committee chair Teodulfo Lao said the ordinance would first pass the committee on laws and rules before the deliberation in the plenary.

The ordinance includes penalties for violations. 

Lao said the ordinance would enable the stoppage of retailing and peddling of petroleum products which has no authority and poses risk and danger among buyers and even the retailers and vendors.

“It can possibly cause fire delikado kaayo sa palibot, dapat na gyud maundang ni,” Lao said.

Councilor Ramon Tabor earlier said petroleum smuggling may be the cause of widespread illegal peddling of fuel products.

“This (illegal peddling of petroleum products) should be stopped and investigated,” Tabor said.