EASTERN Petroleum Corporation said on Monday that its campaign against illegal refilling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders has gained traction following a resolution issued by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Imus, Cavite against Pryce Gases Incorporated for its unauthorized refilling of the former’s EC Gas cylinders.
In a one-page resolution, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Imus, Cavite said it found probable cause to indict Efren A. Palma, Pryce Gases president and chief operating officer, of two counts of violation of Batas Pambansa 33, as amended by Presidential Decree 1865, and two counts of violation of Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines of 1997.
The resolution, penned by Prosecutor Anita A. Gaduang-Rosales, was based on the results of two test buys conducted by members of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), which confirmed that the refilling plant of Pryce Gases located at Maguyam in Silang, Cavite was engaged in illegal refilling of LPG.
It added that the results of the two test buys where EC Gas cylinders were being refilled by Pryce Gases were sufficient to establish the illegal activities being undertaken at Pryce’s plant in Silang, Cavite.
“The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor’s resolution confirms our allegations of illegal LPG refilling and gives a legal cover to pursue our case (against Pryce Gases),” Eastern Petroleum said in a statement.
The company added these illegal refilling activities imperil not only the lives of consumers but can also cause damage to properties.
The Department of Energy (DOE) earlier committed to the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) that it will go after entities engaged in illegal LPG refilling in the country.
It also committed to revisit existing regulations to prevent the unauthorized refilling of other LPG companies’ cylinders and work on improving industry standards to ensure cylinders are well-maintained to protect consumer safety.
Industry players invest hard-earned capital in these quality LPG cylinders but end up losing these cylinders to unscrupulous players who lure consumers with lower-priced refills. Consumers are usually short changed as their cylinders are either under-filled or replaced with substandard cylinders.