THE Department of Energy (DoE) has issued an administrative order jointly with other government agencies directing all liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry participants to observe the minimum safety standards in the transportation and distribution of the petroleum product in cylinders.
The administrative order — jointly signed by the DoE, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) — calls for the suspension or revocation of the standards compliance certificate of an LPG participant that is found to be violating the regulations.
The DoE said the handling of the fuel in cylinders “must be given preferential attention considering that LPG is a highly volatile and flammable product which, if not transported and distributed properly, may result in accidents that can cause loss of life, limb and/or property.”
It also sets the duties of the government agencies and the offices under them, such as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), which is to issue a fire safety clearance for each approved delivery vehicle used for the transport or conveyance of LPG in bulk and in cylinder.
The order applies to all persons involved in importing, refining, refilling, storing, transporting, marketing, distributing, hauling, retailing, selling or trading LPG in cylinders.
Under the rules, the DoE is mandated to issue the standards compliance certificate to all LPG industry participants who have complied with the requirement as provided in the DoE’s department circular (DC) 2014-01-0001 or the “The LPG Industry Rules,” including the fire safety clearance, vehicle registration and other requirements mentioned in the joint order.
Aside from its power to suspend or revoke the compliance certificate, the DoE can also conduct inspections of LPG delivery vehicles within the industry participants’ premises.
The DoE is to constitute a joint inspection team composed of its staff, BFP, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and MMDA personnel, and from other government agencies it may request for assistance, to undertake flag down operations and inspection of LPG delivery vehicles.
The task is aimed at verifying whether they are complying with DoE DC 2013-09-0022, which provides for the minimum safety standards in the transportation and distribution of LPG in cylinders.
The DoE can also recommend to the concerned local government units and to the LTO the suspension or revocation of the business license or the vehicle registration of an LPG industry participant. — Victor V. Saulon