Pryce Gas to file suit vs ‘il­le­gal’ LPG re­filler

The Freeman - - NEWS -

Pryce Gases, Inc. (PGI), an in­dus­trial gas dis­trib­u­tor, is de­ter­mined to file charges against Repub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (Re­gasco) al­leg­ing that the lat­ter il­le­gally stores and trans­ports PGI-owned cylin­ders.

PGI le­gal coun­sel Julius En­tise, in a press state­ment sent to The FREEMAN yes­ter­day, said PGI is set to lodge an ad­min­is­tra­tive case against Re­gasco to­day be­fore the Man­daue Trial Court for vi­o­lat­ing Sec­tion 2 of the Repub­lic Act 5700.

“My client does not mind com­pe­ti­tion, but it has to be fair and within the rules pro­vided for by law,” he said.

The law states that “It shall be un­law­ful for any per­son, with­out the writ­ten con­sent of the man­u­fac­turer, bot­tler, or seller… to fill steel cylin­ders or other sim­i­lar con­tain­ers so marked or stamped, for the pur­pose of sale, or to sell, dis­pose of, buy or traf­fic in, or wan­tonly de­stroy the same, whether filled or not to use the same for drink­ing ves­sels or glasses or drain pipes, foun­da­tion pipes, for any other pur­pose than that reg­is­tered by the man­u­fac­turer, bot­tler or seller."

PGI re­ported that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties seized al­most 700 PGI-owned cylin­ders of liq­ue­fied pe­tro­leum gas (LPG) from Re­gasco in two sep­a­rate op­er­a­tions, with an equiv­a­lent value pegged at around P1.5 mil­lion.

Last Septem­ber 12 (Wed­nes­day), the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion net­ted at least 601 empty PGI cylin­ders dur­ing the raid at the LPG re­fill­ing plant of Re­gasco in Barangay Co­gon, Com­postela town.

On the ba­sis of a search war­rant is­sued by Judge Ra­mon Daomi­las of Re­gional Trial Court Branch 11 of Cebu City, the raid was car­ried out, said En­tise.

PGI re­port­edly re­layed in­for­ma­tion to the De­part­ment of En­ergy (DOE)-Visayas about the al­leged il­le­gal op­er­a­tions of Re­gasco.

On Septem­ber 14, PGI asked as­sis­tance from the Subang­daku Police Sta­tion in Man­daue City af­ter one of its em­ploy­ees no­ticed that PGI-owned cylin­ders were loaded to a Re­gasco-op­er­ated truck.

At least 98 PGI-owned cylin­ders were con­fis­cated.

Il­le­gal re­fillers are de­fraud­ing the pub­lic into be­liev­ing that the LPGs they are buy­ing come from the com­pany whose name ap­pears in the cylin­der when they in fact were re­filled by an­other en­tity with stan­dards of safety dif­fer­ent from the genuine cylin­der own­ers, au­thor­i­ties said ear­lier.

This is an out­right cheat­ing of un­sus­pect­ing con­sumers, they said.

PGI dis­closed that not only Re­gasco is il­le­gally load­ing PGIowned cylin­ders but its truck also does not hold a per­mit to trans­port LPG from the Bureau of Fire Pro­tec­tion.

Also, Re­gasco’s re­fill­ing plant in Com­postela has been re­port­edly op­er­at­ing with­out a Stan­dards Com­pli­ance Cer­tifi­cate from the DOE, said En­tise.

May B. Mi­asco/KBQ

JOY TORREJOS

A young skate­board en­thu­si­ast demon­strates his skills at a pub­lic area in Lapu-Lapu City. Skate­board­ing, for now, is still treated as an un­der­ground sport in the Philip­pines.

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