After 18 years of waiting, the country may finally have a standard regulation on the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry as the bicameral conference committee on Tuesday gave its swift approval to the proposed LPG Industry Regulation Act, now up for Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said discussions on the bill’s final form went smoothly as the upper chamber chose to adopt the House of Representatives’ proposed provisions on penalties. In turn, congressmen agreed to the covered prohibited acts presented by senators.
The proposed measure, if enacted, will regulate the LPG sector and must also safeguard consumers from harmful industry practices, including illegal refilling, under-filling as well as the sale of counterfeit LPG products. It would also institutionalize cylinder and exchange swapping programs to allow consumers to choose any LPG cylinder they want to purchase.
“With one unified LPG bill that will ultimately govern the entire LPG industry, we can now fill in the regulatory gaps that are being experienced by our industry players and strengthen the various regulations issued by the government,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“Most important of all, it will provide safety standards for the protection of the consumers by eliminating unsafe cylinders from circulation,” he continued.
The reconciled version of the Senate Bill 1955 and House Bill 9323 likewise sets the standards for and responsibilities of LPG industry participants, such as importers, bulk suppliers, bulk distributors, haulers, refillers, trademark owners, marketers, dealers, and retail outlets in complying with the stringent safety protocols.
Aside from cooking, LPG is widely used for different purposes such as heating, lighting, and even for fuel for motor vehicles.
“Considering the importance of LPG as a household energy source and keeping in mind its hazardous quality if left improperly regulated, it is certainly high time for this bill to finally become a law,” Gatchalian said.