- Category: Agri-Commodities
- Published on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 20:48
- Written by Max V. de Leon / Reporter
COCONUT industry players on Wednesday supported the petition of the Philippine Coconut Authority for an increase in the biodiesel blend from the current 2 percent to 5 percent.
In a statement, the Pambansang Koalisyon Samahang ng mga Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niugan (PKSMMN) and CIIF-Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG) said increasing the mandatory blend for biodiesel will redound to more benefits for coconut farmers and increase the demand for coconut.
“By adjusting the blend, the government will be helping the more than 3 million coconut farmers in the country, as this measure will surely increase demand for copra,” said Efrend Villasenor, PKSMMN president.
He added that coconut farmers’ clamor for a competitive price of copra is justified, given the increasing cost of living.
Increasing the blend is consistent with the Bio-Fuels Act of 2006, according to Villasenor.
Jesus L. Arranza, president and chief executive officer of CIIF-OMG, said with the depressed prices of crude coconut oil, the Department of Energy is not likely to receive opposition from oil firms.
“Now that the price of copra, together with crude coconut oil [CNO], have gone down, I am confident that the big petroleum companies will cooperate and not oppose this proposed upward adjustment, as they are aware that our coconut farmers need support at this time,” Arranza said.
The 5 percent blend, he said, will require at least 350,000 metric tons of CNO, and this can be supplied by local coconut millers and refiners.
CIIF-OMG operates six plants that are engaged in the milling of copra and refining of coconut oil.
“The upward adjustment in the blend will also help the country conserve the country’s dollar reserves, as this will reduce the importation of diesel into the country,” Arranza said. “At the same time, an increase in the biodiesel blend will be a visible support to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ clean air program.”
He also said studies showed that biodiesel substantially reduces carbon deposits in the engine that emit toxic fumes that are hazardous to humans and the environment.