Concepcion calls for scrapping of 3 M unsafe LPG tanks

August 10, 2009 10:24 am 

By Marie S. Neri

MANILA, Aug. 10 —Consumer and Oil Price Watch (COPW) advocates on Monday urged Congress to immediately pass the LPG Bill which seeks protection of consumers from any possible harm due to the proliferation of “unsafe” and “underweight” liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)cylinders.

“LPG cooking gas is a basic commodity that consumers use particularly those belonging to the C, D, and E economic classes”, said COPW chairman Raul T. Concepcion.

Concepcion said about 3 million unsafe LPG tanks being used nationwide should be considered as scrap and another 3 million due for repair.

The major suppliers of LPG cooking gas include Petron, Shell, Liquigaz, Total, Petronas, and Pryce Gas. About 70 percent of the country's LPG requirement is sourced from abroad and the remaining 30 percent from local makers.

Earlier, Senator Mar Roxas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, and Congressman Rodolfo Plaza unanimously agreed during the Senate hearing last week on the urgent need to pass the LPG Bill.

“We need a law that will give the necessary powers to our regulatory and enforcement agencies so that they can stop and punish illegal activities that not only cheat Filipino consumers but threaten their lives and property as well”, Concepcion said.

On the other hand, Concepcion suggested that the LPG industry be placed under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry from the Department of Energy.

“Under the Deregulation Law, the accreditation of importers of cooking gas is no longer done by the DOE as they maintain that free market forces should prevail and other government agencies should perform this function”, he said.

Concepcion further said that the LPG bill should include the granting of powers to the DTI to accredit importers and suppliers of LPG and LPG cylinders, set and implement safety and accurate filling standards, and impose sanctions and penalties on erring importers, refillers, and marketers.

“The DTI can perform this function as they have the regional network for monitoring prices of basic commodities including the LPG cooking gas,” he said. (PNA)



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