DOE prohibits retail of fuel oils in bottles

DAGUPAN CITY, Sept 1 (PIA) — The Department of Energy (DOE) has warned retailers who sell fuel oils and other oil products in bottles to discontinue their business.

Zenaida Y. Monsada, director for DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau, said the department has issued a circular to prohibit the practice because of the economic, health, and fire hazards involved.

For having to pay for permits and income taxes, aside from having their customers diverted from them, legitimate gasoline stations face undue competition from the retail business, which is known as “bote-bote (bottle).”

Several gasoline stations in Tarlac have been forced to close down because of the competition she said during the Multi-Sectoral Advocacy on the Downstream Oil Industry forum held at the Star Plaza Hotel here on Wednesday.

“Customers do not reach the gasoline stations anymore,” she added.

Due to its unregulated nature, the bote-bote retail also poses health and fire hazards to the retailers, she said.

A gasoline station owner present in the forum informed the DOE that retailers began operating at night since the department has issued the circular.

She added that the retailers have been asking their local chief executives why their businesses are prohibited now, but not so before.

Monsada advised the local chief executives to explain to the retailers that the prohibition is a national policy.

The director said that some areas are exempted from this circular for having no gasoline stations there, but advised investors to put up one or several.

The DOE event, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency, was attended by local government units, oil industry stockholders and media practitioners from Pangasinan and La Union. (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1, Pangasinan)

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