DOE: Don’t buy LPG in refilled butane

The Department of Energy-Visayas Field Office (DOE – VFO) reiterated its call to consumers to avoid buying butane canisters refilled with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

In a Kapihan sa PIA forum on Sept. 4, Engr. Rey Maleza, OIC – Chief of the Energy Industry Management Division of DOE-VFO discussed the possible risk of using LPG-refilled butane canisters.

Maleza explained that these canisters are made of tin, prone to rust and leakage which could be a source of explosion or fire.

Because of this, he said the canisters are not suitable containers for LPG.

Butane canisters are intended for single-use only and should be discarded once it is empty.

However, empty cans are collected and refilled with LPG and sold at cheaper price.

Maleza disclosed that the use of LPG-refilled canisters is popular among those who live in boarding houses and some households because it is economical and convenient.

In Cebu, a LPG-refilled canister costs around P10.

“Popular siya kaayo pero ang convenience dili ma-change sa safety (It’s popular but safety should not be compromised for convenience),” Maleza emphasized.

The DOE official also disclosed that the portable camping stove should not be used inside the house since it is made for outdoor use.

According to Maleza, DOE-VFO together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) apprehended 30 illegal refillers in Cebu.

He admitted, though, that there could be more traders doing “backyard operations.”

While DOE and the PNP continue to monitor and track illegal traders, Maleza said the department will intensify its campaign among consumers in Dumaguete City.

“Ang among programa ron dire na kami sa konsumedor. Kon dili nato-ipatronize kining produkto na illegal ug unsafe pa gyod. Bisag unsaon nila pag-refill, walay mopalit dili (molambo) ilang negosyo. Dire kami moconcentrate na pod sa konsyumer. I hope ang mga consumer aware sa danger (Our program will focus on the consumer. If they will not patronize these illegal and unsafe products, this type of business will not prosper. I hope the consumers will be aware of these dangers),” Maleza said.

He added that consumer safety is a major thrust of DOE under the E-Safety Mo! component of its E-Power Mo Campaign! which is a nationwide information drive on proper energy utilization.

In a related issue, Maleza also discouraged consumers from buying LPG regulators from individuals who visit houses to sell their product.

He said that although the item they are selling – called excess flow limiter – is a legitimate product regulates excess pressure from LPG tanks, it is not appropriate for household LPG tanks which has a lower pressure.

Excess flow limiters are commonly used in big commercial food establishments that use many LPG cylinders that entail high pressure.

Maleza emphasized that there’s no need to buy this product that roughly costs P3,000 to P5,000.

He said the product is unnecessary for household LPGs. (ral/PIA7- Negros Oriental)