President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Act 11592 or the LPG Industry Regulation Act that will regulate the domestic liquefied petroleum gas industry and ensure consumer protection against malpractices.
The law was signed on October 14 and the copy of the document released on Monday.
The new law establishes an LPG Cylinder Improvement Program to ensure the quality of all cylinders in circulation with the goal of protecting the end-consumers.
The LPG Cylinder Exchange and Swapping Program also allows the “exchange, swapping, and buyback of LGP cylinders, the computation of the depreciated value of LPG cylinders, and the establishment of accredited LPG cylinder swapping centers.”
The Department of Energy (DOE) will be the primary government agency responsible for the implementation and enforcement of RA 11592.
It shall regulate, supervise, and monitor the LPG industry and all industry participants to ensure compliance with the health, safety, security, and environmental standards, the applicable PNS (Philippine National Standards), and other accepted codes and standards.
It shall also prepare the LPG Industry Development Plan, in consultation with public and private stakeholders, which shall be integrated into the Philippine Energy Plan.
The LPG Industry Development Plan is meant to ensure existing and projected LPG supply levels will meet demand, including concrete steps to further develop the industry.
Registrations, licenses, permits
Under RA 11592, every LPG industry participant shall secure a license to operate, which shall indicate the specific site, plant, and outlet, prior to the commencement of commercial operation, and shall publicly post such license to operate in its business establishment or premises.
In the event that the participant intends to engage in a new activity outside of its current license to operate, it shall secure another license to operate for the new activity.
All participants shall conduct business only with LPG industry players with valid licenses to operate for the specific activity they are engaged in.
The DOE will have the exclusive authority to issue the license to operate, valid for three years or any such period as may be determined by the agency.
The law also imposes penalties ranging from PHP5,000 to P500,000 as well as imprisonment of not less than six months, but not exceeding six years, on violators.
The law will take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspapers of general circulation. (Azer Parrocha/PNA)