The House of Representatives is looking to pass a measure that seeks to phase out old liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.
The lower chamber’s energy and trade and industry committees have approved at the committee level the LPG Cylinder Replacement and Recovery Bill, which would prohibit the use of old and substandard LPG containers within three years.
The said bill is a replacement and consolidation of House Bills 302, 5642, and 7251, which all sought to establish a regulatory framework for the LPG industry.
Quezon City Rep. Jesus “Bong” Suntay, who headed the technical working group for the substitute bill said the primary gain in passing the bill is the establishment of a regulatory framework for the importation, refining, refilling, transportation, distribution and marketing of LPG, as well as the manufacture, importation and pre-qualification, exchange, swapping and improvement of LPG cylinders, among others.
Suntay owns Basic Transport Management, one of Metro Manila’s largest taxi operators with its fleet running on LPG as fuel.
The bill also seeks to delineate the powers and functions of various government agencies involved in enforcement and implementation, should the measure be enacted into law.
However, the LPG Refillers Association (LPGRA) said the proposed bill only affects six million poor families who currently use the old cylinder model, calling the proposed measure as anti-poor.
LPGRA president Bernie Bolisay added that the proposed replacement of substandard LPG tanks in three years is not possible due to lack of financial support from the government. He specifically cited a government-subsidized program in Thailand, where only 1.2 million cylinders were replaced within three years.
Without the help from the government, Bolisay warned that said poor families will have to fund the estimated Php1,500 cost of a new LPG cylinder.
Instead, he proposed a longer transition period of six years and three months for the program given that the country has only two manufacturers of LPG tanks.