DOE refining rules vs unsafe fuel trade

As the disparity of fuel prices in Bohol remained unaddressed, consumers here are encouraged to examine the draft department circular of the Department of Energy on the revised rules and regulations governing the business of retailing liquid fuels.

The DOE accepts comments until December 21 regarding the draft department circular: “Promulgating a Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Business of Retailing Liquid Fuels”.

The set of rules and regulations is for the implementation of Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998.

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In the draft circular, the DOE cited the practice of some persons “that do not comply with safe and appropriate technologies, including the use of containers such as in “bote-bote” storage tanks and mobile liquid fuels dispensing pump”.

The DOE cited in the draft that RA 8479 “mandates the DOE to promote fair trade practices, monitor marketing processes and quality of liquid fuels and stop the operation of businesses involved in the sale” of substandard products.

It further cited Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, as amended by Presidential Decree 1865, and their implementing rules and regulations “penalize certain prohibited acts that are considered inimical to the public interest and national security, including illegal trading in petroleum or liquid fuels, hoarding of liquid fuels, adulteration and underdelivering, among others”.

The DOE draft circular on revised retail rules proposes to prohibit any person to engage or be engaged in the business of retailing liquid fuels without first securing a valid Certificate of Compliance (COC) from the Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) or its counterparts in the field offices.

The current draft department circular includes provisions on non-issuance, non-renewal, revocation or suspension of Certificate of Compliance of retail outlets.

The grounds include refusal to allow inspection by OIMB or the field offices; failure to present required records during inspection, or upon order by the OIMB such as calibration record, record of product deliveries to the retail outlet showing the supplier, product details and date; submission of falsified documents; failure to pay fines imposed by DOE; commission of the same prohibited act for at least a second time; or failure to comply with circulars and administrative issuances promulgated by the DOE.

It is also proposed that “in situations where an LGU shall require a Certificate of Compliance as a prerequisite to a mayor’s permit or business permit, a provisional Authority to Operate or Certification may be issued to a new retail outlet solely for that purpose of obtaining the mayor’s or business permit”.

This is provided that an authenticated copy of the mayor’s or business permit is submitted to the OIMB or its field offices within 30 days from issuance of the provisional authority to operate or certification. Failure to do so will render such provisional authority or certification automatically revoked and the retail outlet shall immediately cease to operate.

 



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