The city government has intensified its efforts to put a stop to the sale of refillable butane canisters, warning Davaoeños on the hazardous effects of patronizing these products.
Department of Energy (DOE) Department Circular DC2014-01-0001 provides the rules and regulations governing the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Industry. Rule VIII Section 25 of the said circular prohibits the “refilling of LPG in a tin canister or cartridge not designed for LPG.”
“Butane canister is for one-time use and cannot be refilled as it is prohibited,” Business Bureau Chief lawyer Marissa Torrentera said in an interview. It may be cheap at only P20-25 per canister, she added, but we do not know the hazard it presents.
This month, a multi-agency task force which includes the Business Bureau has confiscated 4,000 butane canisters which were immediately turned over to the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) because these are not safe to keep in the Bureau’s office.
Of the total number of butane canisters confiscated by the Business Bureau, 3,201 were confiscated from the Sirawan and Bunawan checkpoints.
DOE officials warned on the possibility of the canisters exploding because the containers are too thin compared to the regular LPG tanks. Unscrupulous individuals refill the tin canisters with LPG but the container does not pass the prescribed standards of DOE.
Torrentera said there are no butane refilling businesses in the city but there are many who still sell the prohibited refillable butane containers. They received reports that there are still vendors in Bankerohan that are selling the prohibited butane tin cans.
“We need to confiscate these refilled butane tin cans before they reach the city,” she said. There are reports that most of the suppliers of the refilled butane can come from the Tagum area.
The Business Bureau also warned Davaoeños especially students from buying the canisters. Torrentera said DOE is conducting information dissemination, especially in schools since most of the users of the butane cans are students because it is cheap.
Torrentera said it is easy to determine if a butane can have been recycled just by its physical appearance alone. In most cases, she added, refilled butane cans are dirty and rusty.
Expect a stronger city-wide campaign against hazardous substances such as the refilled butane cans with the recent amendment to Executive Order No. 29 which divided the task force that regulates the handling, transport or sale of flammable and dangerous chemicals and other hazardous and toxic substances into the Inspection Team, Prosecution Team and Information/Advocacy Team.
Torrentera, however, said they only have one inspection team conducting inspections from one place to another. They also have to get assistance from the police during the inspections. Lovely A. Carillo