Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to fast track the promulgation of the law regulating the domestic liquified petroleum gas (LPG) industry to ensure consumer protection against industry malpractices.
In observance of the Fire Prevention Month, the re-electionist senator underscored the significance of RA 11592, which took 18 years and seven Congresses, in ensuring the removal of unsafe tanks from circulation with the objective of preventing LPG-fire related incidents. The law also institutionalizes the cylinder exchange and swapping program to allow consumers to purchase any LPG cylinder brand of their choice.
“It has been five months since the signing of the Republic Act No. 11592, otherwise known as the LPG Industry Regulation Act, and we have yet to hear the release of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR),” said Gatchalian, principal author and sponsor of the measure.
“Ngayong panahon ng tag-init, hindi maiiwasan ang anumang sunog o pagsabog dala ng depektibong tangke ng LPG kaya kailangang kailangan natin na pairalin ang ganitong batas upang mabigyan ng proteksyon ang publiko,” he added.
A total of 787 LPG-related fire incidents nationwide were recorded last year by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and six of which were caused by defective tanks. A similar incident took place last Feb. 20 in Sta. Cruz, Manila which claimed the lives of four persons.
“Kung masisiguro natin na maayos at hindi depektibo o peke ang mga tangke ng LPG sa merkado, makakampante tayo na mababawasan o maiiwasan ang mga insidente ng mga pagsabog o pagliyab ng nagiging sanhi ng sunog at pagkasawi ng ilan,” Gatchalian said.
Under the law, the DOE together with the DTI and in consultation with concerned government agencies and stakeholders, including consumer groups, should promulgate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 60 days from its effectivity.
The IRR for the LPG Cylinder Exchange and Swapping Program and LPG Cylinder Improvement Program of the law, however, should be in place within six months from the signing of RA 11592.
The LPG Cylinder Exchange and Swapping Program allows consumers to bring any brand of empty LPG cylinder to any retail outlet and use it to purchase another brand of LPG cylinder carried by the retail outlet. The LPG Cylinder Improvement Program, meanwhile, ensures the quality of all LPG cylinders in circulation to protect consumers.