Bicam body approves harmonized provisions of LPG regulation bill

Published July 14, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

A bicameral conference committee of Congress has given its final approval to the harmonized and final provisions of the provisions Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Regulation Act that will be forwarded to President Duterte for his approval and signing into law.

The proposed law will regulate the LPG sector and must also safeguard consumers from life-threatening industry practices — including illegal refilling, under-filling as well as the sale of counterfeit LPG products.

According to Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian, “With one unified LPG Bill that will ultimately govern the entire LPG industry, we can now fill in the regulatory gaps that are being experienced by our industry players and strengthen the various regulations issued by the government.”

Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian

The measure, he added, will further provide “safety standards for the protection of the consumers by eliminating unsafe cylinders from circulation.”

Once the law is implemented, there shall also be institutionalized policy on “cylinder exchange and swapping program to allow consumers to purchase any LPG cylinder of their choice.”

For the longest time, illicit practices of unscrupulous elements in the LPG sector had been sacrificing many lives – as illegally traded LPG products have been found causing menacing incidents, like fires that often result in loss of lives and properties.

Under the bicam-reconciled LPG bill, it was noted that the standards and safety protocols had been prescribed; while the responsibilities of each industry participant had likewise been clearly delineated – ranging from the importers, bulk suppliers, bulk distributors, haulers, refillers, trademark owners, marketers, dealers and retail outlets.

Gatchalian 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.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, LPG is certainly one of the most important fuel commodities that helped Filipinos survive the distress brought about by the health crisis – as most families were confined in their homes and had to get through household cooking, especially at the height of the lockdown enforcements.

As emphasized by the Senate energy committee, at least four in every 10 Filipino households have been depending on LPG products for their cooking needs.

At the same time, the transport sector is using autoLPG as an alternative fuel in moving consumers from their pick-up points to their areas of destination.