A proposed ordinance to prohibit the refilling, distribution, and retailing of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in butane canisters in Bacolod City, was passed on first reading by the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently.
Councilor Sonya Verdeflor,main author of the proposal, said the Department of Energy has urged the public to refrain from using LPG-refilled canisters of butane camping stoves because many fire incidents were reported in the Visayas and Mindanao caused by “explosion” of LPG-refilled canisters and millions of pesos worth of properties were destroyed and injuries suffered. Due to its popularity with low-income households, future fire incidents are expected.
The ordinance said pure butane fuel is designed for outdoor use and can only be used once, and refilling it is not advisable for safety reasons.
Butane and LPG do not have the same characteristics. LPG in the Philippines is composed of a mixture of propane and butane and LPG has a higher pressure (480-1050 kPa) than pure butane (485 kPa max). The canister is not suited to the gas pressures expected of the LPG. Using LPG-refilled canisters has jeopardized public safety and is now a major issue that needs public awareness, it added.
Forcing LPG on a butane canister may cause a leak that will lead to emission of volatile gas that can cause explosion and fire. The Bureau of Fire Protection has reported several butane related incidents of fire from 2010 up to the present, the proposal said.
The proposed “Anti-LPG-Refilled Canisters of Butane Ordinance” aims to ensure the safety of end-users and the buying public by prohibiting them from using LPG-refilled canisters of butane.
It provides that the Bacolod City Police Office and the Traffic Management Unit of BTAO will apprehend haulers of LPG-refilled butane canisters. A citation ticket shall be issued to the hauler, and the refilled butane canisters will be taken into custody by the BCPO for evidence purposes and proper disposal. The DOE will be consulted for technical and legal support.
The proposed ordinance provides that the City Permits and Licensing Division must refuse/cease from issuing business permits to firms or individuals engaged or intend to engage in the refilling, distribution, hauling, and retailing of LPG in canister, previously filled with butane, or not approved by the Bureau of Fire Protection.
The BCPO, with the assistance of the DOE, may file a separate criminal case against the illegal refillers, distributors, haulers, and retailers of LPG in canisters, pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1865, or an “Act Defining and Penalizing Certain Prohibited Acts Inimical to the Public Interests and National Security Involving Petroleum and/or Petroleum Products”.*
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