The House Committee on Energy is confident the measure seeking to establish a regulatory framework for the safe operations of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry will be ratified by Congress.
Rep. Reynaldo Umali of Mindoro, chair of the House Committee on Energy, said his team’s version of the LPG Bill has hurdled the third reading.
Umali said they are just waiting for the Senate to pass its counterpart measure, Senate Bill 2245.
He said he believes the bill will be approved by the 16th Congress given that there are no more contentious issues that need to be ironed out at the Bicameral Conference Committee.
“If the Senate decides to adopt our version, I think the LPG Bill will be immediately enacted,” said Umali.
The measure also ensures that substandard and potentially harmful cylinders are taken off the market through the LPG Cylinder Exchange and Replacement Program.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been pushing for the speedy enactment of the measure.
DOE officer-in-charge (OIC) Zenaida Monsada said they are hoping that the LPG Bill will be passed by Congress before the national elections next year.
Monsada said the bill has long been pending in Congress and it is about time that it is enacted.
“For the longest time, we have been working on an LPG Bill that protects consumers in terms of the quality and safety of energy products,” Monsada said.
Monsada said that through the measure, consumer distress from illegally refilled or dilapidated LPG tanks will be prevented.
“We have seen how consumers suffer from illegally refilled or dilapidated tanks and through the bill, we hope that we will avoid such incidents from happening,” she said.
At the same time, Monsada said the bill is also a way of strengthening the LPG industry and is part of the energy plan for a sustainable energy sector.
“We are now seeing LPG in different sectors in the country, in transportation and power, to name a few,” she added.
She said the concern is more on policy formulation because of the dynamism of the industry which is affected not only by the local industry but also the international markets.
“Because of the recent reforms as well as experiences, we are now slowly diverting our routes to face unconventional but more practical approaches,” she said.
As the country is now economically and socially growing, Monsada said the bill should also evolve with time as the LPG industry now includes composite tanks and fuel canisters.
At the same time, Monsada said the DOE is also continuously conducting information and education campaigns in different areas of the country to educate consumers, especially at the household level, on how to safely and efficiently use LPG.
“We are also constantly reminding the public to avoid buying so called LPG anti-leak devices allegedly endorsed by the DOE,” she said.