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LPG sector continues business despite pandemic

The Department of Energy (DOE) said the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector continues its business despite the health pandemic because this is essential for the people’s daily activities like cooking.

“We are implementing rules and regulations for smooth deliveries of LPG between islands because that is an essential need of the people,” said DOE Visayas Director Russ Mark Gamallo.

Gamallo, a lawyer and former DOE Visayas legal officer, said they are constantly monitoring the LPG and other petroleum products and strengthen their coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He said they are assured of full support from the PNP in implementing DOE laws, rules, and regulations against illegal trading of petroleum products.

“I would like to commend the PNP for their full support to DOE. Without the assistance of law enforcement agencies, we cannot run after illegal LPG traders especially those selling illegal butane canister filled with LPG which has caused fires thereby endangering lives and properties,” Gamallo said.

He said the illegal business of butane canister is not yet eliminated but there is a big reduction compared to two years ago where there was huge proliferation of such dangerous product.

Gamallo said the illegal butane canister is now overshadowed by the legal LPG refillable cylinder like that of the Philippine Ecogas Producers Cooperative (PEPC). That is a big improvement.

But he said some unscrupulous businessmen, instead of acquiring permit from DOE, continue to engage in LPG trading without securing Standard Compliance Certificate (SCC) from DOE, thus their operation is illegal.

“Despite our information drive and warnings, they blatantly violate the laws, rules and regulations. We will continue to run after the personalities involved in this illegal business,” Gamallo said.

He said that while there are now legal cylinders or canisters refillable with LPG as approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the sellers must have SCC from DOE, otherwise, their business will be illegal. ELIAS O. BAQUERO