DOE warns public against purchase of bottled fuel
By Juzel L. Danganan
The Department of Energy (DOE) warned the public against buying illegal bottled fuel.
In a statement on Tuesday, the department said "liquid fuels are highly combustible and flammable products, and require proper storage and handling."
Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada stressed that the improper handling of liquid fuels may cause accidental fire, illnesses from inhaling hazardous fumes and damaging effects to the environment.
The department calls on the public to purchase fuel only from service stations, as it assures proper fuel quality and quantity.
It also warned the products sold through bottles might be sourced from oil smuggling and pilferage.
The agency said purchasing illegal fuel affects local government units (LGUs) to be deprived of revenues from business permits, taxes and pump calibration charges.
It also called on LGUs to implement existing rules to apprehend illegal sellers and confiscate the liquid fuels.
Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos also disclosed the League of Mayors of Cebu supports the initiative.
“Recently, we’ve met with the League of Mayors of Cebu to gain their support by committing to protect the public, particularly their constituents, from unsafe, hazardous, illegal retailing of liquid fuels in bote-bote in their area. We are also planning to replicate the same initiative with other LGUs or even elevate it to the National League of Mayors,” he said.
The department, along with industry players and LGUs, will also review and amend retail rules and facilitate drafting local ordinances.
The public could report the illegal sellers to the DOE through the Oil Industry Management Bureau at 840-2130.
The contact number for the field offices are: Luzon, (075) 656-0114; Visayas, (032) 253-3459; Mindanao, (082) 221-0778. (PNA)