PHILIPPINES: The House committee on energy has approved a consolidated bill calling for the formulation of Fuel Ethanol Program that would promote the use of ethanol derived from local sugar cane as an alternative transport fuel.
The bill, coauthored by Reps. Alfredo Maranon III, Jacinto V. Paras, Ignacio T. Arroyo, Monico O. Puentevella and Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, will be known as the Fuel Ethanol Act if enacted into law.
The government, through the departments of trade and industry, energy and agriculture, will come up with an alternative fuel program that would foster the production of nonconventional and replenishable sources of energy and fuel to help the country cope with the exorbitant cost of imported gasoline products and the uncertainty of supply.
In a related development, transport groups in Metro Manila on Wednesday said the series of oil-price increases in the past few months caused the popularity rating of President Arroyo to plummet.
The group Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) and TODA Pilipinas said the recent oil-price hikes contributed in the drop of the President’s rating in March.
The Piston spokesperson, George San Mateo, said unless President Arroyo finds an alternative solution to the unstable oil prices, her popularity rating would continue to slide to an even lower percentage.
Adolfo Quiming, secretary general of TODA Pilipinas, said there are 1.5-million tricycles all over the country.
Members of Piston and TODA Pilipinas, however, were relieved when the Filipino inventor Pablo Planas, a jeepney driver and operator himself, introduced the first gas-saving device.
The transport sector said Malacañang should support the invention called the Khaos Super Turbo Charger (KSTC) of Planas to help reduce the consumption of gas.
Planas invented the KSTC to help drivers earn extra income due to a lesser gas consumption.
Planas said he got the endorsement of Vice President Noli de Castro, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Environment Secretary Mike Defensor and
Energy Secretary Vince Perez to help save more than 50 percent of gas consumption and reduce pollution.