Law with higher penalty to be applied to butane refillers
AUTHORITIES are now looking into what laws can be applied against the illegal refilling of butane canisters with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The Department of Energy in Central Visayas (DOE-7), the Cebu Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) and the Minglanilla police conducted a case conference yesterday afternoon after a raid on butane refilling stations in Sitio Camarin, Barangay Cito, Minglanilla town netted P3.5 million worth of butane canisters, LPG tanks, compressors, multicab vehicles and refilling machines.
Lawyer Mark Gamallo of the DOE said they are now preparing the charges against the persons arrested, determining who else are involved in the illegal refilling of butane canisters and how and where to store the evidence obtained, including the refilled canisters and the LPG tanks.
“Under Presidential Decree Act 1865, the penalty for the violation is a fine of not less than to P20,000 up to P50,000 and two to five years imprisonment if they are proven guilty,” said Gamallo.
The joint operation of Minglanilla police and Penro was a follow up operation after a certain Roger Amadeo was caught selling LPG-filled butane canisters in his sari-sari store in Barangay Tulay, Minglanilla.
Amadeo identified his suppliers of refilled butane canisters, which lead to the arrest of Razel Gaballo of Moalboal town and Logie Gabuya of Davao City.
Refilling butane canisters is also prohibited under Provincial Ordinance 2016-15 and carries a fine of P3,000 to P5,000.
Penro enforcer Jayson Lozano said that they later found out that the butane refilling stations didn’t have any business permit from the local government unit.
Their license was for an LPG tank refilling station, not a refilling station for butane canisters.
The empty butane canisters will be brought to the Penro compound in Barili while the LPG-filled canisters will be stored at the CICC.
Penro head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said they will intensify their monitoring of illegal butane canister refillers.
“Katong nagbuhat og mga illegal (refilling butane canisters) magbantay sila kay anytime makit-an gihapon mo, mapugngan gihapon mo sa DOE ug PNP ana (Those who do illegal activities should beware because they will be arrested),” he added.
Tribunalo warned the public that using refilled butane canisters can cause fire./ by Shaira Marie Rama CEBU NORMAL UNIVERSITY-Intern
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