Press Release
September 17, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas has proposed a total ban on the sale and distribution of second-hand LPG cylinders or containers and sought imprisonment of up to 12 years for those who engage in the business.

In proposing the passage of the LPG Industry Regulation and Safety Act of 2009, Roxas noted the danger to life and property posed by unscrupulous businessmen who prey on unwitting consumers by selling these defective and second-hand LPG cylinders.

Roxas, chairman of the Senate Trade and Commerce Committee, sponsored in the floor today Committee Report No. 567 seeking the approval of the measure proposing to establish the regulatory framework for the safe operations of the LPG industry.

"Mahalaga ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Trabaho ng gobyernong ito na siguruhing ligtas sila sa anumang kapahamakan na maaaring idulot ng pagpapabaya ng mga nasa posisyon o ng mga gahamang negosyante," he said.

Under the proposed measure, the importation of used or second hand LPG cylinders or containers shall be banned. Violators will be fined with at least P100,000 or P3,000 per cylinder or container, whichever is higher, and imprisonment of at least 6 years to 12 years.

Industry records show that of the 12 million cylinders circulating the local market, three million are for scrappage while another three million is set for requalification. Of the almost 35,000 cylinders inspected by the DOE from 2004 to May 2009, almost 17,000 or 49% were defective. On the other hand, of the more than 4,000 LPG establishments inspected by the agency during the same period, almost 3,000 violated existing laws.

Such defective tanks have caused most LPG-related fires throughout the country. Of the 288 total incidents recorded from 2007 to June 2009, gas leak accounted for 160 while defective hose pipe, regulator gasket and shut off valve accounted for 88.

Under the LPG safety bill sponsored by Roxas, he tasked the Department of Energy to be the lead government agency in the supervision of the LPG industry, especially the industry's strict compliance with national product quality, environmental and worker safety and consumer welfare standards.

As lead agency, the DOE Secretary shall promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the implementation of the measure; formulate and implement policies, programs and regulations on the LPG industry; inspect and evaluate LPG and LPG tanks in circulation; establish safety standards for refilling plants and other facilities of LPG industry players; investigate reported violations of the law and initiate the necessary actions; issue Standards Compliance Certificates to LPG industry participants; investigate and keep a record of LPG-related injuries or damages to person to property; and establish and investigate, prosecute and impose penalties for dumping activities or unauthorized filling of bulk tanks installed in industrial LPG consumers by bulk suppliers other than the owner of the tanks.

The DOE will likewise promulgate quality standards for LPG primary storage facilities; cylinder-filling plants and facilities; bulk loading, unloading and transportation of LPG; dealers and retail outlets; and service stations.

It will also have the power to recall, seize and impound or prohibit the sale or use of defective LPG cylinders

The DTI, on the other hand, shall continue to develop and revise Philippine National Standards (PNS) for LPG cylinders and other ancillary requirement and inspect and evaluate such for accreditation and certification to conformity to PNS.

Local government units will be empowered to suspend or revoke the business permits or licenses of any LPG industry participant in their respective jurisdictions for violation of the Act.

Industry players will be required to secure Standard Compliance Certificates (SCC) from the DOE prior to engaging in business or renewal of business permits while Certificates of Accreditation should be obtained from the DTI prior to commencement of operations and every year thereafter.

Refiners, importers, refillers, haulers, dealers and retail outlets will be required to provide sealed and duly-calibrated weighing devices in their sales areas for easy public access.

"Let us all become responsible citizens. Let us prevent these incidents waiting to happen. I urge my colleagues to study the merits of the proposed LPG Act and approve it before more lives are claimed by fake and defective LPG tanks," Roxas said.

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