Petron backs passage of LPG bill to curb illegal industry practices

Published August 20, 2020, 3:03 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Leading oil firm Petron Corporation is joining the league of industry players batting for the passage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) law to address the weaknesses, as well as curb safety lapses and illegal trade practices in the sector.

The proposed law sets the formulation of a “national energy policy and regulatory framework,” that will not only fortify product quality but will also tighten controls primarily on areas that could cause harm to the consuming public. At the same time, the legislated policy will strengthen and streamline laws and regulations governing the LPG sector.

One major menacing practice in the LPG sector is illegal refilling, and this is perceived to be a highly dangerous modus operandi because it controverts safety standards and could likewise endanger the lives of people.

And in the process, perpetrators also shortchange end-users through under-filling of the LPG cylinders being sold.

Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang opined that “similar to fuel smuggling, illegal refilling is also a threat to the industry and to the safety and welfare of consumers.”

Taking cue from that, he pleaded to government and policy framers “it’s about time that tighter regulations and stronger penalties are put in place against these unlawful and unsafe practices.”

For emphasis, Petron cited that its Gasul brand cylinders “are often replicated or illegally refilled by unauthorized LPG refillers,” and one prototypical case was a plant in Imus, Cavite that had been raided in June by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

In that operation, the law enforcers seized illegally refilled Petron Gasul cylinders that were estimated to be P4.6 million worth. That same plant with illegal refilling offenses, according to Petron, was raided by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in 2013.

“Sadly, there are many fake cylinders out in the market,”Ang forthrightly stated; with him adding that these are classified “dangerous and of substandard quality and most of the time are under-filled.”

With many people now relying on home-cooked food and leaning on LPG as a primary fuel for this chore, the passage of the bill “will benefit both us players and the consumers for raising the standards on safety, security and quality in the LPG sector,” the oil firm executive said.

Petron stated it will continue to support ongoing campaign for the proposed measure to get its way through Congressional approval, so they could protect the welfare of mostly unsuspecting Filipino consumers as to the dangers of the LPG commodities they might be patronizing.

The oil firm similarly apprised consumers that all of its Petron Gasul cylinders “are manufactured according to stringent safety standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry.”

These cylinders, it said, are compliant with prescribed standards on wall thickness, weld integrity and valve fitting; and they also passed thorough testing and inspection before they are refilled and distributed to customers.

The oil company added a laser-printed quality seal with “unique QR code” likewise guarantees that each Petron Gasul cylinder passed rigorous safety and quality testing before it is even brought to market.