LAOAG CITY, Sept 8 (PIA) — Local government units need to tighten their grip on traders of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and other liquid petroleum products to ensure that consumers are protected against abuses.
The Department of Energy reminded local officials of their power to monitor and regulate the sale of LPG and gasoline against unfair and illegal practices ranging from improper calibration, underweight cylinders and fake LPG tanks.
Director Zenaida Monsada of the DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau said the department has issued a circular providing local governments the power to monitor and enforce compliance of gas dealers with proper calibration.
“We have issued a department circular giving LGUs the power to calibrate. We remind local governments of their role on monitoring the compliance of traders,” she said.
Monsada said the government has not lost full control on the oil industry despite the law deregulating the industry.
“Even with the passage of the downstream oil industry deregulation act of 1998, the government is empowered to monitor industry players to ensure their compliance with pricing rules and observance of the standards on quality and quantity,” she said.
Legitimate LPG dealers brought to the DOE’s attention the presence of illegal traders who have been engaged in unauthorized LPG refilling and selling of fake LPG cylinders.
Monsada said a complaint should be filed against those involved in illegal trading by representatives of a legitimate company that is affected by the unfair competition.
She noted the experience of Shellane gas, which went beyond reporting a fake dealer to the authorities by filing a case against those behind the unauthorized sale.
“Help us in going after illegal traders by sharing any information. Coordinate with local authorities and the police in catching those behind the illegal trade,” she said.
Monsada said the DOE, with the aid of the Department of Industry, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the PNP and local government units, promises a crackdown on those involved in the illegal trade.
“We will conduct regular inspection and look into reported violations. But you need to protect your brand by filing a case against illegal traders,” she said. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)