Petron warns consumers on dangers of illegally refilled LPG tanks

Published October 16, 2020, 5:22 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Leading oil firm Petron Corporation has warned Filipino consumers on the dangers of patronizing illegally refilled liquefied petroleum gas (LGP) cylinders, as these could cause freak accidents that would then risk lives and properties.

“Petron Gasul cylinders are replicated and sold by unauthorized refillers ad sellers without undergoing the proper safety and quality checks,” the company said.

Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said “there are very serious dangers to illegal refilling which is why it has to stop,” with him expounding that “it puts at risk the lives of consumers because illegally refilled tanks do not undergo proper safety checks nor do they undergo weight

inspections, so these are also often underfilled.”

In just a span of three months, Petron reported that two separate raids were carried out by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Cavite —  and these operations led to the confiscation of millions-worth of illegally refilled LPG products.

The oil firm further narrated that in June “P4.6 million worth of illegally refilled Petron Gasul tanks were seized in Imus, while another 180 were captured in Bacoor with an estimated value of P500,000.”

The company indicated the CIDG also confiscated “several fake and illegally refilled LPG tanks in a recent entrapment operation in Valenzuela City,” that was following a joint complaint filed by Petron and Isla Petroleum and Gas Corporation.

The owner of the apprehended illegal outlet was subsequently arrested and imprisoned, according to the leading oil firm.

The Petron chief executive thus commended the law enforcers for constantly “keeping an eye on illegal LPG outlets,” and for apprehending the unscrupulous individuals behind them.

Be that as it may, the longer term fix to the industry’s dilemma, in Ang’s view, is the passage of the LPG Bill, which is targeted to have more comprehensive measures in “suppressing illegal trade practices in the LPG sector.”

The oil firm said the edict will “strengthen and streamline laws and regulations in the LPG sector.” As propounded, violations like illegal refilling, underfilling, hoarding and operating without a valid license could be meted fines ranging from P5,000 to P10 million.

Petron apprised consumers that “to distinguish between a legitimate and a fake Petron Gasul cylinder, customers must look for a laser-printed quality seal with a unique QR code, certifying that the cylinder has passed through rigorous safety and quality testing.”
Similarly, the oil firm cautioned consumers on the use of LPG-filled butane canisters, which it claimed, to be “both dangerous and illegal.”

For those opting for lighter yet safer alternative, Petron said it introduced the 2.7-kilogram variant of its Fiesta Gas LPG brand last year.

The company said there had been alarming fire incidents caused by butane explosions, including one last year in Cagayan de Oro, which resulted in the death of two individuals, including a 12-year old; and the other butane-induced explosion was in Cebu in March, causing second degree burns to two victims.