DOE sets deadline for LPG industry players to secure license

ALL distributors, refillers and haulers of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) products have only until July 6, 2023 to secure a license to operate (LTO) from the Department of Energy (DOE) and other government permits, or they will face stiff penalties and fines.

To ensure the safety of consumers, the DOE will monitor more closely all players in the LPG industry and run after those that operate without permits, and those that engage in illegal and unsafe practices of refilling or underfilling tanks and canisters, and selling and distributing substandard cylinders and canisters.

Republic Act (RA) 11592, or the LPG Industry Regulation Act of 2021, mandates that all LPG industry players should secure an LTO from the DOE, a business permit from the local government and other permits from other government agencies.

Rey Maleza, the chief Science Research Specialist of the DOE-Visayas Field Office, reminded LPG distributors and retailers that the law imposes stiffer penalties this time.

Those who violate the law face imprisonment or administrative fines that start at P5,000 per day for LPG distributors that operate without the LTO or permits, and up to P1 million for non-compliance with the design, permits and protocols for the transport of LPG tanks.

“The products that are meant to be sold, including the container as where to place the products, must be all compliant with the standards because if substandard cylinders and containers continue to proliferate in the market, its first victims will always be the consumers. They are the ones we are trying to protect,” Maleza said.

Maleza discussed the requirement to apply for the LTO before the July 6 deadline during the media briefing for the Visayas leg of the LPG Regional Summit held at the Skyhall Convention Center of SM Seaside Cebu last Thursday, May 11.

Industry players who are operating with a Standard Compliance Certificate (SCC) also need to secure an LTO. Before the law was enacted, LPG industry players were only required to have the SCC to engage in the LPG business.

Maleza also reminded industry players that the DOE strictly prohibits the refilling, underfilling, selling and distribution of generic (unmarked or without identification) or uncertified (substandard and defective) LPG cylinders in the market.

He said the industry players must ensure that generic or uncertified cylinders are requalified, marked and certified before they can be refilled and sold.


Refilling and selling of LPG tank or cylinder with trademark but without the permission of the trademark owner or marketer is also prohibited. In transporting LPG tanks and cylinders, transport trucks and vehicles must also be compliant with the design specification, permits and clearances. Overloading is also prohibited.

Arnel Ty, former LPG Marketers’ Association Party-list representative and one of the authors of RA 11592, said there are two to three million cylinders that are substandard or defective out of the 38 to 40 million cylinders in circulation in the country.

Ty said they observed that the circulation of old, rusty and defective LPG cylinders is rampant in Luzon. In Visayas and Mindanao, the illegal refilling of one-time use butane canisters continues to be a concern, he said.

“This summit is to remind our industry participants to assist the government with the goal of removing from the market these substandard cylinders by introducing swapping or surrendering programs that are free of charge,” Ty said.

The LPG Cylinder Exchange, Swapping and Improvement helps ensure the compliance of the industry players with safe manufacturing, distribution, selling and buying of LPG cylinders for the safety of the consumers.

These programs allow the LPG dealers and retailers to swap or exchange LPG cylinders into specific brand or trademark from the marketers and owners. The standards of the containers are also thoroughly checked before they are refilled.

As specified in the law, industry players include the bulk supplier and distributors, haulers, refillers, trademark owners or marketers, dealers, retailers and other participants who are now ordered to strictly comply with the new guidelines for safe practices of LPG refilling and distribution.

DOE is also authorized to conduct random inspection and monitoring and if any player is found to have violated the law, the agency shall order the suspension of the operation or the closure of the facility if the corrective measures are not complied with under the provisions of RA 11592.

According to Rino Abad, director of the Oil Industry Management Bureau of the DOE, RA 11592 updates the provisions that regulate the LPG industry stipulated in Batas Pambansa 33.

He also said RA 11592 does not overlap with the Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, as RA 11529 does not dictate the market prices of fuel and other oil products, including LPG, but only ensures the safe practices and standards of the industry.

Kristian Paul Dantes, president and board member of the LPG Industry Association, said their group supports the new law as it is a “landmark law” against the proliferation of substandard and defective LPG cylinders in the market by heavily penalizing those who participate in these illegal activities.

“It unifies what the private sector, the government, and the households want in terms of safety in the LPG industry as it empowers the government and protects the consumers,” Dantes said.