House approves LPG safety bill
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has unanimously passed on third and final reading a bill that is expected to curb liquefied petroleum gas (LGP)- related disasters, the leading cause of violent blazes according to the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Aside from the protecting the interests and welfare of consumers, the proposed Act Estabilshing the Regulatory Framework for the Safe Operations of the LPG Industry, or House Bill 5617, mandates rigorous standards meant to ensure the harmless importation, refining, storage, refilling, distribution, transportation, and consumption of the cooking fuel.
“This measure will go a long way in preventing the unnecessary loss of lives and property due to accidental LPG explosions in residential, commercial and industrial settings,” House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, one of the principal authors of the bill, said.
This move comes after more than 2 years since the Two Serendra blast which took the lives of 4 people, including the person who occupied the condo unit at the time of the explosion. The 4-month investigation shows that the blast was caused by an LPG leak.
The powerful Two Serendra blast became highly publicized partly because investigators initially suspected it was caused by a bomb, and partly because it happened in a posh residential district.
Not long after Two Serendra, an LPG explosion at a restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan City also injured 7 people.
As recent as August 2015, 19 people were badly burned in two separate faulty LPG cylinder detonations in Kalayaan and Calamba City, Laguna.
Both incidents were among the worst LPG-related disasters since the blowing up of a large LPG storage tank at an unlicensed refilling station in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, which killed 3 workers and maimed 2 others.
Best conducts and practices
“We are counting on the bill to lessen the public safety hazards associated with the growing use of piped-in LPG by new mixed-use property development projects such as The Fort,” Ty said.
Under the bill, every LPG installation is required to obtain and renew annually a highly improved standard compliance certificate to be issued by the Department of Energy.
The certificate will attest that the installation has fully complied with the prescribed safety rules and regulations.
The bill also sets the best conduct and practices for all LPG industry players, addresses product quality and safety concerns, and upholds the right of consumers to freely purchase their preferred LPG brand.
“We also expect the measure to discourage in a big way the activities of abusive, fraudulent and unsafe LPG refillers and traders that continue to proliferate in many communities,” Ty said.
It also regulates the manufacture, requalification, exchange, swapping or improvement of LPG cylinders, and provides adequate strategies to guarantee that every tank coming out of a refilling plant has gone through painstaking security checks.
“Dilapidated cylinders will be properly scrapped if they can no longer be restored and requalified. They are a menace to public safety,” Ty said. - Rappler.com
Photo of LPG from Shutterstock