LPG-MA’s New Year gift: P2 per kilo rollback

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INDEPENDENT refillers grouped under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) are rolling back their prices of the cooking fuel by P2 per kilo effective midnight.

“Owing to the sustained drop in the international contract price of LPG, we are further reducing prices by P2 per kilo, or by P22 for every 11-kilogram cylinder,” LPG-MA said.

“We see softer LPG prices in the weeks ahead. Hopefully, this will just be the first of our price cutbacks for 2013,” the group said.

Refillers not aligned with the big oil companies tend to sell LPG at prices up to 20 percent lower than branded cooking gas.

The Commission on Elections has accredited LPG-MA as a group of sales professionals entitled to participate in the 2013 mid-term elections under the party-list proportional representation system for underrepresented sectors.

The international contract price of LPG has been steadily declining on account of weaker demand from the slowing economies of the United States and Europe, according to LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty.

“The stronger peso has also made it somewhat cheaper for Philippine importers to buy LPG in dollars overseas,” Ty, a member of the House energy committee, pointed out.

The peso-dollar exchange rate closed at 41.19:1.00 on the last trading day of 2012, up 6.21 percent from 43.92:1.00 a year ago.

Meanwhile, amid the rash of accidental fires, Ty renewed his plea for the swift passage of a bill proposing to establish a one-time exchange program for the benefit of consumers possessing dilapidated LPG cylinders.

The 55-member House committee on trade and industry previously endorsed the bill for floor debate and approval.

“The bill is in the public’s best interest, as it will surely promote the safe consumption of LPG,” Ty said.

He said the LPG Cylinder Exchange, Swapping and Rehabilitation Program contained in House Bill 3976 would systematically remove and replace all defective and substandard drums in the open market.

“This will definitely minimize the risk of accidental fires that may be caused by unsafe cylinders,” he said.

He added: “The cylinder exchange scheme is just one of the features of the bill, which basically sets the minimum fair standards of business conduct for all LPG industry participants, from importers and refiners down to neighborhood dealers.”

The bill ensures that every LPG cylinder coming out of a refilling plant has gone through rigorous safety tests. Cylinders damaged from normal wear and tear would be promptly detected, repaired and re-qualified, or scrapped, as the case may be.

It also protects LPG consumers as well as legitimate industry players against fraudulent refillers and traders, hoarders, and illegal importers of second-hand and possibly harmful cylinders.

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