• Eyed B5 biodiesel mix to affect P7M PUVs

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    Some 7 million public utility vehicles (PUV) will be affected once the B5 biodiesel blend is approved into law, a transport group said on Monday.

    This as the on-road test for the five percent biodiesel was launched on Monday using seven in-use jeepneys of operators belonging to transport groups identified by The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Department of Energy (DOE).

    The new concoction would increased the coco methyl esther (CME) biodiesel blend from 2 percent to five percent.

    Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP)  said that the large part of the figures comprised of the jeepney, both registered and colorum.

    He and PCA admnistrator Euclides Forbes also said that by increasing the part of CME, the country—should it be passed into law—would raise the percentage of the country’s independency on fuel imports.

    “This aims to to reduce the dependence on imported fuels with due regard to the protection of public health, the environment and the natural ecosystems consistent with the country’s sustainable economic growth that would expand opportunities for livelihood,” Forbes said.

    He also said that it would also strengthen the domestic market for coconut which will create a P19.6 billion income as B5 greater demand for coconut oil which would translate to 1,099 CME plant workers, 13,183 coconut oil milling workers and 23,070 farm workers would be needed.

    Forbes noted that coconut farmers would benefit P4.838 million annually from the lien collected through the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program, should this be amended.

    The PCA initiated the efforts for the research and experiments on the use of coco biodiesel as fuel in 1983, along with  Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC-ERDC), National Power Corporation (NPC), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

    In May 2001, PCA together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched a Biodiesel Development Project to test the viability of coconut biodiesel as engine fuel wherein test results showed a reduction of around 50% on their smoke emissions.

    “As to the B5 blend, the visible cloud of black smoke consisting of carbon and sulfur particulates is reduced by as much as 80%,” Forbes added.

    Forbes explained that Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas dominant in automotive emissions which mainly contributes to global warming.

    “In contrast, coco biodiesel has a neutral carbon footprint. Coconut tree, once planted, absorbs CO2 during growing stage (called carbon sink). Every liter of fossil diesel displaced by cocodiesel represents a CO2 reduction of 3.5 kg per liter of fuel used,” he noted.

    Further, he ensured the increased productivity and sustainable supply of biofuel feedstock as PCA continues to implement its massive planting and replanting programs.

    Earlier,  Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the National Biofuels Board is in the process of using coconut oil in biofuels and that they are eyeing to implement it within the year and thatthe country sufficient production and supply of coconut oil.

    A report quoting the Asian Institute of Petroleum Studies Inc. citing that increasing the current blend from 2 percent to 5 percent would create a 211.5 million liters of coconut oil per year demand.

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