Monday, December 31, 2012

LPG Price in Philippines Reduced in 2013

Despite the price increases on petroleum products, 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," the LPG-MA said on Monday.

"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.

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

LPG-MA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty said 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.

"The stronger peso has also made it somewhat cheaper for Philippine importers to buy LPG in dollars overseas," he noted.

The peso-dollar exchange rate closed at P41.19 to a US dollar on the last trading day of 2012, up 6.21 percent from P43.92 a year ago.

Meanwhile, amid the rash of accidental fires, Ty renewed his appeal 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 of the House of Representatives' 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," said Ty.

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 added.

Ty said 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 proposed measure 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.

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