20 September 2004

Philippines: Coco-diesel, ethanol: Good news for farmers

The government is pushing for two projects that could help address the country’s need for oil and fuel. Secretary Vince Perez of the Department of Energy said the use of coco-diesel, which President Arroyo earlier endorsed is a good opportunity, which many industries must consider. He said the country’s energy requirements are dependent from the supplies of other countries mostly coming from the Middle East. “Using one percent blend of coco-diesel could help maintain and clean the engine,” he said. Patronizing coco-diesel is also helping our coconut farmers where most of our coco farms are in Mindanao, Bicol, Batangas and Palawan, he added.

The other project that Mindanao could really benefit from is the ethanol, which comes from sugar. He said that ethanol when mixed with gasoline could produce a good blend. “The best potential in Mindanao is sugar where vast plantations are in Bukidnon and Cotabato,” he said. He cited sugar as a component in producing rhum and with a little distillation the by-product is ethanol. “Both ethanol and coco when blended with gasoline and diesel respectively could be a big help in reducing the consumption of fuel,” he said.

In the meantime that the two projects have yet to be accepted by the public, the government is doing double time in its campaign to conserve energy. Perez said this is response to the energy conservation program launched by President Arroyo last August to promote ways to save on gasoline. He also encouraged motorists to learn how to conserve, maintain and drive properly. Pilipinas Shell Corporation general manager Sammy de Guzman enumerated three fuel conservation tips. He said first is to plan your trip, second apply defense driving by using the right gear in your car and third by using the right kind of fuel for a better mileage of gasoline.

Both Perez and de Guzman led the economy run in Davao last Friday. The next eco-run by end year will be in Baguio City for the Luzon area while the Cebu eco run was held last June this year.

Source: SunStar.com Sept. 19, 2004.

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