CEBU CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE), through its Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) and Visayas Field Office (VFO), met with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) suppliers operating in the region last Tuesday (11 June) in a move to further strengthen the Department’s campaign against the proliferation of illegal LPG-refilling activities, particularly LPG-refilled butane canisters.
“Butane canisters that have been refilled with LPG are prohibited primarily because they are extremely dangerous. These are fire and explosive hazards. We would like to appeal to the public, especially to our kababayans in the Visayas where this illegal activity has been rampant – don’t risk your lives and those of your children and loved ones. Do not buy these illegally refilled LPG canisters,” DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi emphasized.
DOE – OIMB Assistant Director Rodela I. Romero and VFO Director Jose Rey Maleza, presided over the meeting, where LPG suppliers were briefed on the continuing joint enforcement activities being undertaken by the DOE with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the various local government units (LGUs) concerned.
This includes, among others, the filing of criminal and administrative cases against those who have been found engaging in the unlawful refiling of LPG into non-compliant containers, as well as the LGUs’ provision of warehouse space for confiscated illegal items.
Data from the DOE-VFO indicate that since 2017, there have been 72 criminal cases filed by law enforcement agencies against illegal LPG refillers, found mostly in the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. Out of the 72, 42 cases resulted in convictions imposing penalties of either imprisonment, fines, or both.
LPG suppliers and marketers were directed to closely monitor their respective downlines as a measure to block supply sources of illegal refilling, strictly comply with the monthly reporting of LPG distribution, and to transact only with industry players bearing DOE-issued Standard Compliance Certificates.
The DOE continues to assure the public that it is closely coordinating with the PNP in the Visayas and Mindanao regions to find ways to protect our consumers from this illegal and dangerous practice. (PR from DOE)