Coconut industry wants bigger biodiesel share
MANILA -As motorists bear the brunt of successive pump price hikes, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines Inc. (UCAP) said it is “about time” to increase the biodiesel component in diesel as mandated by law.
In a press briefing during the 3rd World Coconut Congress, UCAP chair Dean Lao Jr. said now is the right time to implement the long-delayed higher coco blend as biodiesel is priced from P55 to P60 per liter, cheaper than diesel which retails for over P60 per liter.
The group is hopeful the Marcos administration will heed their long-standing appeal. UCAP vice chair Marco Reyes said President Marcos “has an ear to the private sector” as the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), the government advisory council composed of business leaders and experts, is “quite influential.”
Reyes said not only it will reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel but will also translate to savings totaling P1.5 trillion and significantly reduce the pollution level in the country.
“And what happened where we increase coconut [blend] to our biodiesels, it improves combustion. The particulate matter which are toxic are burned with the help of the coconut biodiesel,” Reyes said.
“Instead of using other imported cooking oil why don’t we just use our coconut oil,” he said. Around 280 million liters of biodiesel will be needed to sustain the 5 percent (B5) blend and Lao said this can even be increased to 15 percent (B15) from the current level of 2 percent (B2) because “we have that much coconut oil.”
He also said embarking on the biodiesel program will greatly benefit the domestic coconut industry as it “can make a huge amount of difference to the coconut industry, that becomes value added market over time.”