Lawmaker bats for passage of LPG safety bill

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03:49 AM June 17th, 2013

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June 17th, 2013 03:49 AM

Rep. Arnel Ty. Photo from www.congress.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker is pressing for approval of a measure seeking stricter regulations on the handling, storage and use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), following the explosion that rocked the Two Serendra condominium over two weeks ago.

Rep. Arnel Ty of the LPG Marketers Association party-list group on Sunday said the explosion, believed caused by a gas leak, should spur Congress to approve the bill seeking to establish the regulatory framework for the conduct of business in the LPG industry.

“LPG is now being delivered and consumed in ways that 10 or 15 years ago were unheard of. In the interest of public safety, we have to upgrade and make applicable laws responsive,” Ty said in a statement.

The measure would require the Department of Energy to formulate policies and regulations for the stockpiling, storage, marketing and distribution of LPG, whether in cylinders or centralized LPG distribution systems, to ensure environmental and worker safety, product quality and conformity with consumer welfare standards.

It would also require businesses that consume LPG in bulk but do not retail LPG, such as centralized LPG distribution systems, to secure a certificate from the Department of Energy.

The House of Representatives actually approved the bill on second reading in September 2011, but it was held in abeyance to give lawmakers more time to interpellate the sponsor. The bill never moved forward from there.

Ty said that with the explosion at the condominium that left three people dead, the next Congress should not dilly-dally in passing the measure.

“We should not wait for more people to be killed or harmed in LPG-related disasters,” he said.

Authorities had ruled out a bomb as the cause of the deadly explosion in the heart of the Bonifacio Global City commercial district and said that the blast was consistent with a gas explosion, most likely LPG.

The Ayala Land-owned condominium has a pipeline system that supplies LPG to the various units. The gas is supplied by an Ayala Corp. affiliate, Bonifacio Gas Corp.

Ayala Land has since shut down Two Serendra’s gas pipeline.

Ty said the use of a centralized system to provide piped-in LPG to homes was not dangerous as long as safety standards were strictly observed.

“Centralized piped-in LPG systems can be operated harmlessly, provided these are built and maintained based on exacting safety standards. In fact, many urban districts around the world run on piped gas networks,” he said.—Leila B. Salaverria

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