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PROPOSED LPG LAW BREEZES THROUGH BICAMERAL COMMITTEE

Petron cheers imminent crackdown on substandard LPG

/ 05:10 AM July 17, 2021

Petron Corp. has cheered the impending enactment of a proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) law intended to ensure consumer welfare against illegally refilled and poor quality cylinders.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, earlier said the bill “breezed through” the bicameral conference committee after a journey of 18 years through seven Congresses.

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Stringent penalties

In a statement welcoming this development, Petron noted that the bill sets stronger and more stringent penalties for offenses like illegal refilling, underfilling, hoarding, use of substandard cylinders and operating without a valid license.

“The passage of the LPG Bill will address regulatory gaps in the industry, strengthen consumer protection, and increase public safety against accidents resulting from illegal LPG trade practices,” the company said.

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Petron added that consumers of LPG also need to do their share in the fight against illicit LPG trade practices that compromise their safety.

The San Miguel subsidiary said Petron Gasul cylinders were often replicated or illegally refilled by unauthorized LPG refillers. It said the fake cylinders were dangerous, of substandard quality, and most of the time, underfilled.

According to the Department of Energy, the Philippines’ sole petroleum refiner ranked third in terms of share in the domestic LPG market with 21 percent of total volume in 2020. The biggest share was accorded to Liquigaz Philippines Corp. at 24 percent followed by South Pacific Inc. at 22 percent.

Domestic demand

Last year, domestic demand for LPG was pegged at 3.16 billion liters. This represented 14 percent of total demand for petroleum products that include gasoline, diesel and kerosene as well as byproducts like naphtha, asphalt, petcoke and petrochemical products.

Further, Petron reiterated reminders to the public to source their LPG cylinders only through authorized sellers to ensure their safety and security.

Explosions

LPG explosions from product leakages in noncompliant cylinders are a common cause of fire incidents in the country, the company said.

“Considering the importance of LPG as a household energy source and keeping in mind its hazardous quality if left improperly regulated, it is certainly high time for this bill to finally become a law,” Gatchalian said.

—Ronnel W. Domingo
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TAGS: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Petron Corp., Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
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