Ordinance vs refilling, retailing LPG gas in canisters approved in first reading

AN ORDINANCE on refilling, distribution, and retailing of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) in canisters was approved by Bacolod City Council on the first reading.

The ordinance was authored by Councilor Sonya Verdeflor.

Verdeflor said the Department of Energy (DOE) has urged the general public to refrain from using LPG-refilled canisters of butane camping stoves because many fire incidents were reported in the Visayas and Mindanao caused by “explosion” of LPG-refilled canisters and millions of pesos worth of properties were destroyed and many suffered from injury.

Due to its popularity with low-income households, future fire incidents are expected, she said.

She added that pure butane fuel is designed for outdoor use and can only be used once, and refilling it is not advisable for safety reasons.

Verdeflor noted that butane and LPG do not have the same characteristics.

LPG in the Philippines is composed of a mixture of propane and butane and LPG has a higher pressure (480-1050 kPa) than pure butane (485 kPa max).

Verdeflor said the canister is not suited to the gas pressures expected of the LPG. Using LPG-refilled canisters has jeopardized public safety and is now a major issue that needs public awareness.

She said forcing LPG on a butane canister may cause a leak that will lead to the emission of volatile gas that can cause explosion and fire.

“The Bureau of Fire Protection has reported several butane-related incidents of fire from 2010 up to the present,” she added.

Section 6 of the proposed ordinance stated that in order to come up with an action plan that will prevent the spread of refilled containers, the following Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and the Traffic Management Unit of Bacolod Traffic Authority Office shall apprehend haulers of LPG-refilled butane canisters, by any means of transportation.

A citation ticket to this effect shall be issued to the hauler, and the refilled butane canisters in possession shall be taken into custody by the BCPO for evidence purposes and proper disposal thereafter. The DOE shall be consulted for technical and legal support, it added.

Section 7 of the proposed ordinance also stated that violators, who are haulers set forth in the preceding section of this Ordinance, shall be held liable to pay an administrative fine of P3,000, which shall be paid to the City Treasurer’s Office or to the Barangay Treasurer concerned within 24 hours from the time of apprehension. (MAP)


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