PEOPLE'S TONIGHT: Solon seeks to weed out dilapidated LPG cylinders
Solon seeks to weed out dilapidated LPG cylinders by RYAN PONCE PACPACO
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker sought a “long-lasting” solution to the surge in violent liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank explosions by eliminating six million dilapidated cylinders, the latest of which hurt dozens of people in Tondo, Manila.
“There is a consensus emerging within two House committees – on energy and on trade industry – on the need to launch a government-sponsored program to weed out more than six million worn-out LPG cylinders circulating the open market,” said House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) party list Rep. Arnel Ty.
“These dilapidated cylinders are a menace to public safety. They are a leading cause of accidental discharges and highly destructive fires in homes and commercial establishments,” said Ty.
Ty’s remark came shortly after yet another LPG tank flare-up, this time in Tondo’s Parola Compound, injured 42 persons who suffered different degrees of burns. The June 2 blast also set off a blaze that swept through a row of homes.
The proposed LPG Cylinder Exchange and Rehabilitation Program will enable consumers to replace their aging and substandard tanks with new drums, at zero cost to the user, according to Ty.
He said the Department of Energy will administer the program, which could last up to five years at a cost of around P10 billion.
“The target is to extract from the market all rundown and unsafe cylinders that are at least 10 years old and long overdue for re-qualification,” Ty said.
He said program funding “is not much of an issue” since the national government collects tens of billions of pesos in tax revenues every year from the LPG sector.
“The draft committee report on the LPG Regulation and Safety Bill, which contains the cylinder exchange and rehabilitation program, is already being finalized,” he pointed out.