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Freeman Metro Cebu

Butane traders resist proposed regulation

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – At least 30 retailers and butane refilling station owners expressed opposition to the move banning butane canisters refilled with liquefied petroleum gas during a public consultation with the Lapu-Lapu City Council last December 29.

The proposed ordinance, which prohibits the refilling, distribution, sale and use of LPG refilled in butane canisters in Lapu-Lapu City, is sponsored by Councilors Alexander Gestopa Jr. and Eduardo Patalinghug.

At the consultation, Jun Alforque, vice president of Cebu Province LPG Refillers Association, appeared before the council, asking it to regulate but not ban the use of butane canisters.

"Hangyo lang nako sa kadagkuan nga inyo ming tabangan. Imbes nga paundangon, atoa kining palambuon," Alforque said.

But the Department of Energy-7 seems unmoved to the plea.

Saying the use of LPG-refilled butane canisters is hazardous to the public, DOE-7 director Antonio Labios pointed out the Department of Trade and Industry has no exact storage specifications designed for refilled LPG.

"Ang DTI mismo…they have studied it already. Dili pwede ang pagbutang og LPG sa butane canisters," Labios said.

Labios urged those involved in the business of refilled LPG butane canisters to seek standard compliance certificate from the DTI because DOE does not issue such certification.

Erlinda Camus, 64, resident of Sitio Locatha, Barangay Looc, is not in favor of the proposed ordinance, saying buying LPG in tanks is expensive at P700.

"Okay ra man (ang butane) kay barato, tag-10 pesos ra. Makahimo ko ug upat ka lutuan," Camus said.

Lapu-Lapu City Fire District is not, however, on Camus' side.

Senior Fire Officer 4 Diomed Alburo, chief of administration, said LPG and butane gas have different levels of pressure.

"Delikado, dili sila parehas og characteristics kay ang butane man gud only has a maximum pressure of 485 kilopascals as compared to LPG that has a maximun pressure of 480 to 1,050 kilopascals," Alburo said.

Three fire incidents related to the use of butane have been recorded so far in Lapu-Lapu this year:  in Sitio Kabatuan, Barangay Maribago on August 11; Sitio Gemelina, Barangay Poblacion on October 12 and in Sitio Sea Breeze, Barangay Pusok on October 25.

Gestopa, for his part, admitted to reporters that the use of LPG-refilled butane canisters is economically beneficial, but using it poses risk to the public.

"Sayon siya gamiton, economic siya. Gidili unta pero ang epekto ani nga ang butane canister gibutangan og LPG not suitable sa gamay og nipis nga butanganan sa butane," he said.

"Dako ang posibilidad nga mo-explode ang canister mao nga risgo siya sa katawhan," he added.

Another public consultation will be set to tackle the proposed measure, although there is no specific date yet. (FREEMAN)

ANG

ANTONIO LABIOS

BARANGAY LOOC

BARANGAY MARIBAGO

BARANGAY POBLACION

BARANGAY PUSOK

BUT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

BUTANE

LAPU

LPG

QUOT

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