Pryce Gas to file suit vs ‘illegal’ LPG refiller
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
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