As important as the necessity to regulate the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry in the country is the need to ensure the well-being of more than eight million Filipino households depending on LPG for their daily cooking needs, Senator Win Gatchalian said.
In the observance of Fire Prevention Month, Gatchalian underscored the significance of enacting into law Senate Bill No. 1955 or the proposed LPG Act which seeks to institutionalize a cylinder improvement program aimed at removing unsafe tanks from circulation and allowing the swap of an empty LPG cylinder with a filled one.
“Hindi madali para sa mga nawalan ng tirahan dahil sa sunog ang bumangon matapos maabo ang lahat ng pinagsikapan nilang maipundar lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he said.
Records from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) showed a total of 286 LPG-fire related incidents since 2018. At least 104 were recorded in 2018, while there were 96 cases in 2019 and 85 incidents took place last year. One LPG-related fire incident took place last January, the only incident so far this 2021, the BFP said.
Aside from faulty electrical wirings and open flames, included among the common cause of fire in residential areas are gas leaks. In the latest data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), 40 percent of Filipino households use LPG daily.
SB 1955, which was recently approved on third and final reading by the Senate, seeks to put in place a national energy policy and regulatory framework to strengthen and streamline the laws and regulations overseeing the domestic LPG industry.
Included in this measure is a provision allowing consumers to swap their empty LPG cylinder with a filled LPG cylinder of a different brand.
“Bukod sa magiging mura na sa mga mamimili ang pagpalit ng tangke ng LPG dahil hindi na nila kailangang bumili ng bagong basyo sakaling mag-iba sila ng brand, masisiguro pa ang kaligtasan nila dahil mawawala sa merkado ang mga luma at recycled na mga tangke na kadalasan ay sanhi ng mga pagsabog at sunog,” Gatchalian said.