The Department of Energy (DoE) raided a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling station in Mandaue City, Cebu in a move weed out illicit refilling plants in the market.
The DoE said in a statement that its Visayas field office and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) raided the building on Friday night and seized three bullet tanks, two of which had a two-ton capacity and one with a four-ton capacity; 40 cylinders of 50 kilograms (kg) capacity; one 250-kg tank and four canister refilling machines.
They also confiscated a sealing machine, 68,000 empty canisters, 16,000 LPG-filled canisters with an estimated value of P2.7 million, three air compressors, and a van being used for the supposed illegitimate operations.
“The alleged owner of the illegal refilling station Douglas Labra has been detained for further investigation and questioning,” the DoE said.
Confiscated items will be sent to a storage facility in Naga the Cebu provincial government owns while the investigation is ongoing.
The DoE is working closely with the provincial government following its ordinance to eliminate irregular activities in the downstream oil industry under its jurisdiction.
The raid was conducted after the DoE brought to the Visayas its campaign on smarter energy options to empower consumers committed to tighten consumer protection against illegal peddling of petroleum products, such as LPG-filled/refilled canisters.
The campaign “targets the so-called bote-bote or reselling of LPG using unauthorized containers.”
Meanwhile, The DoE encourages consumers to report illegal activities in the energy sector, particularly in the oil and power sectors, and not to patronize unlawful and unsafe practices.
JORDEENE SHEEX LAGARE