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DoE warns against unauthorized petroleum, LPG trading amid Visayas crackdown

doe warns against unauthorized petroleum lpg trading amid visayas crackdown 816x445 - DoE warns against unauthorized petroleum, LPG trading amid Visayas crackdown
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The Department of Energy Visayas office also said that it is strengthening its enforcement activities against the illegal refilling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into non-compliant containers such as butane canisters. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said Thursday that it is cracking down on the illegal trading of petroleum products, particularly in the Visayas.

In a statement, the DoE said its Visayas field office dispatched teams in Capiz last week to deter the illegal in trade petroleum products, which is known as “bote-bote.”

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the DoE “is on top of the situation with the reported ‘bote bote’ cases and we are ensuring the safety of the people by monitoring the quality and quantity of liquefied petroleum gas.”

The DoE said the enforcement team together with the Philippine National Police raided six large retailers of liquid fuels in the municipalities of Dumarao, Ivisan, and Roxas City, which resulted in the confiscation of 16,346 liters of gasoline and 5,644 liters of diesel.

It said criminal cases will be filed against the nine individuals who were caught selling liquid fuels without authority from the agency, which is a violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 33, “An Act Defining and Penalizing Certain Prohibited Acts Inimical to the Public Interest and National Security Involving Petroleum and/or Petroleum Products, Prescribing Penalties therefore and for other Purposes.”

The DoE’s Visayas office also said that it is strengthening its enforcement activities against the illegal refilling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into non-compliant containers such as butane canisters. It said several fires caused by these LPG-refilled butane canisters had been reported across the Visayas.

The department said it was “in constant coordination with the local PNP and the LGUs as part of regulatory operations in enforcing the safety standards of petroleum products.”

Separately, the department said it had created a special task force “to urgently address the recurring brownouts in Puerto Princesa and other parts of Palawan.”

It said the interagency coordinating committee and task force was to meet representatives of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco), National Power Corp. (Napocor), and provincial government agencies on Thursday to discuss the progress of the implementation of their respective action plans.

Mr. Cusi in February directed the task force to look into the power interruptions in Palawan via a performance audit and assessment. Its findings included the uncoordinated protection system of Paleco and Napocor’s distributions lines, overloaded substations, vegetation obstruction along distribution lines, and the slow coordination among various government agencies on distribution line maintenance and improvements. — Victor V. Saulon

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