DOE, PNP forge alliance for stricter LIRA enforcement

DOE logo 2023

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have partnered to intensify the implementation of Republic Act No. 11592, or the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry Regulation Act (LIRA).

The partnership, sealed through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla and PNP Chief PGen Benjamin C. Accorda, aims to safeguard the public’s interests and general welfare.

Secretary Lotilla emphasized the government’s acknowledgment of the substantial risks to life and property associated with LPG operations. He stated, “Strict monitoring and enforcement is paramount to mitigate the risks associated with LPG operations and promote responsible and sustainable practices within the industry.”

The signed agreement seeks to implement Oplan LIRA effectively. The PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is designated to aid the DOE in inspecting LPG facilities, including retailers, refillers, and vehicles involved in bulk transportation of LPG or LPG cylinders and cartridges.

Additionally, the PNP is entrusted with investigating potential criminal violations under the LIRA, whether prompted by reports or initiated independently. This responsibility covers surveillance, entrapment operations, application for search warrants, and the initiation of criminal proceedings against violators.

With the enactment of LIRA, the government has pivoted towards prioritizing consumer welfare and protection. The DOE has reinforced its commitment to upholding quality, health, safety, and environmental standards in the regulation of the LPG industry.

“The protection and safeguard of the consumers is our main priority,” stressed Secretary Lotilla. “Together with the PNP, we will strictly enforce the LIRA with heightened monitoring and inspections of the industry.”

By the end of 2023, the DOE awarded operational licenses to approximately 15,000 businesses engaged in LPG trade across the nation. The Department has continued to receive and process permit applications from eligible LPG participants to curb the proliferation of illicit establishments and prevent irregular, deceptive, and anomalous trade practices.