Philippines Conference Committee OKs Biofuels Act
24 November 2006
Inquirer. A congressional bicameral conference committee approved the proposed Biofuels Act of 2006 which requires the use of alternative fuels in the Philippines. After ratification by the two chambers, the bill will be sent to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her signature.
The proposed Biofuels Act requires the use of biofuels, stating that all liquid fuels for motors and engines sold in the Philippines “shall contain locally produced biofuel components.”
Within two years of the law taking effect, the annual total volume of gasoline sold and distributed in the country will have to contain at least 5% bioethanol. That rises to a 10% requirement four years after the law taking effect.
A minimum of 1% biodiesel by volume will be blended into all diesel engine fuels as soon as the law takes effect, increasing to 2% within two years.
The sale of biofuels will be zero-rated for the VAT (value-added tax).
“We have the means to ride on the alternative fuels boom. We have 2.4 million hectares planted to corn, 3.2 million hectares to coconut, 390,000 hectares to sugarcane, 330,000 to cassava and camote,” [Rep. Juan Miguel] Zubiri [the main author of the biofuels bill] said.
“If we don’t have oil to drill, then we must grow oil from our soil. The lambanog that causes drunk driving can also run cars. Cassava is best not just as pie but petrol. And corn that can be made into healthy breakfast can also fuel our cars,” he said.
Six companies reportedly are investigating ethanol plants.
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