Friday, March 02, 2007

DOE issues new auto-LPG rules

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued yesterday its new rules on the auto-LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) strictly setting standards to institute safety codes in the fast-growing industry.

Specifically, the guidelines will govern the business of supplying, hauling, storage, handling, marketing and distribution of LPG for automotive use, in order to protect the consuming public.

Before engaging in the auto-LPG dispensing station business, the DOE requires an applicant to secure a standard compliance certificate (SCC) upon submission of a set of documentary requirements.

These requirements include details of business activities, permits and licenses from government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Product Standards, Department of Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection and the concerned local government unit prior to engagement, commencement of construction and operation of any auto-LPG business.

To date, there are about 4,000 auto-LPG vehicles nationwide, with privately-owned and some government-owned vehicles converted to auto-LPG.

Auto-LPG dispensing stations have also flourished with 20 service station-based, 11 stand-alone stations, five refilling/bulk plant-based and five garage-based, all in Metro Manila.

In the Visayas, there are at least 20 dispensing stations with seven stand-alone stations and 13 garage-based stations while eight dispensing stations are located in Mindanao .

Conversion shops have also flourished with nine auto-LPG conversion companies in 14 different locations in Metro Manila while more shops are expected to open in other parts of the country in the coming months.

"Consumer protection is our main consideration here. Anyone found to be engaged in illegal practices and services in auto-LPG business will be sanctioned and penalized," Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.

He said that filling of household LPG cylinders in the auto-LPG dispensing station is strictly prohibited.
By Donnabelle L. Gatdula - The Philippine Star

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