Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1188 or the proposed LPG Act, which seeks to streamline existing laws and regulations overseeing the domestic Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry.
Gatchalian’s proposed measure will govern the entire LPG industry as he sounded the alarm over the proliferation of substandard LPG cylinders that could endanger the lives of Filipino consumers.
The LPG industry has not been adversely affected by the quarantine measures since LPG remains a staple in the kitchens of many Filipino families who are forced to stay home and cook their own meals.
The proposed measure also aims to institute reforms in the LPG industry, addressing concerns in health, safety, security and the environment, and effectively ensure that consumer welfare remains paramount.
Gatchalian said there are about 8 million households that uses LPG for their everyday activity, such as cooking, lighting and heating water, citing data from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey in 2015. Based on the 2010 Survey of Energy Consumption of Establishments, there are over 144,065 business establishments that are using LPG.
However, the lawmaker fears that substandard LPG cylinders may have illegally entered in the country and are now inside the homes of many Filipino families. He urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor and ensure that LPG cylinders and canisters inside the homes of every family are safe.
“We are delivering LPGs to the homes of the people through those cylinders which are highly regulated items, regulated by the DTI through standards and inspection. As we all know, there are illegal and generic canisters na nakapasok at pumapasok sa bansa and these are now in the homes of our constituents,” Gatchalian said.
“My point here is that we have flammable material inside a canister that is unregulated because it didn’t go through any government regulation and now it’s in the homes of our constituents. Our poor constituents will not have the means to recover if there are accidents due to these unregulated cylinders and canisters,” he added.
Gatchalian cited that there were 1,139 fires caused by LPG explosions from defective cylinders and ancillary equipment and LPG leaks from 2010 to April 2020.
By passing SBN 1188, Gatchalian expressed optimism that it will able to fill the regulatory gaps that industry players are now experiencing and it will strengthen various regulations that the government has issued on importation, refining, refilling, transportation, conveyance, distribution, and marketing of LPG and the manufacturing, re-qualifying, exchanging, and swapping of LPG pressure vessels
“LPG is a highly-flammable commodity and that the industry should ensure safety for all consumers,” Gatchalian concluded.