DAVAO CITY, Philippines – About 4,000 refilled butane gas canisters were confiscated in June alone by the multi-agency task force in the city, an official said.
Davao City Business Bureau Officer-in-Charge Atty. Marissa Torrentera said 3,201 of the 4,000, were confiscated in Sirawan, Toril and Bunawan checkpoints, while the rest were in Bankerohan public market and other places in the city.
The canisters confiscated by the Bureau of Fire Protection at the checkpoints were turned over to the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), while the ones confiscated by the Business Bureau were disposed in the landfill.
In a press conference held at the City Engineer’s Office on Thursday, July 13 Torrentera emphasized that butane canisters are for “one-time use only” and should be disposed right after it is used.
However, some businessmen opt to resell refilled butane canisters than the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) because it is cheaper, Torrentera said.
She warned that it may be cheap, but it is hazardous.
The Department of Energy (DOE) previously warned the public on the dangers of using butane canisters refilled with LPG. DOE said the canisters are not intended to be refilled especially with LPG because it has a higher pressure than butane and might explode and cause fire.
Under DOE’s Department Circular DC2014-01-0001, illegal or ‘backyard refilling’ of butane canisters is also prohibited, “as its unsafe operations and substandard facilities posed danger to the immediate vicinity.”
In a City Information Office (CIO) dispatch, the recently amended Executive Order No. 29 empowers the multi-agency task force to conduct inventory, monitor compliance, and inspections of all persons and entities handling and/or engaged in business involving flammable and dangerous chemicals and other hazardous and toxic substance, with emphasis on those involved with LPGs.
Torrentera said all members of the task force, including the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Department of Trade and Industry should prevent the entry and delivery of refilled butane canisters in the city.
“According to DOE in Davao, we don’t have a problem as to refilling since none does refilling business in the city. Suppliers are from outside Davao City. It’s better to confiscate before it enters the city” Torrentera said.
Torrentera they are monitoring markets, particularly the Bankerohan public market, because many sellers are there.
She also urged the public, especially the students who are said to be number one users of butane gas canisters, not to patronize and buy refilled butane gas canisters to avoid accidents.
“We are asking the consumers that as much as possible, not to buy prohibited products such as refilled butane canisters. We are also calling those who are selling here in Davao, if possible, find other legitimate products that can be sold other than butanes because it is prohibited,” Torrentera said.
Torrentera said under E.O. 29, suppliers and sellers of refilled butane gas canisters may be filed with administrative or criminal charges.(davaotoday.com)