The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Biofuels Board (NBB) should thoroughly inspect the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) proposal to increase the coconut content in biodiesel and its effects on the pump price of diesel.
This was the call of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on the DA’s proposal to increase the coconut content from two percent to five percent.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is suggesting the increase of biofuel content in diesel from B2 to B5 to utilize the oversupply in the copra industry.
B2 biodiesel is a mixture of two percent agricultural products and 98 percent clean diesel. B5 biodiesel is five percent agricultural products and 95 percent clean diesel.
Gatchalian, the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and co-chair of the Joint Congressional Biofuels Oversight Committee, said NBB should study if the increase is necessary and if it would guarantee sufficient supply for future demands.
“The DOE and NBB should weigh the impact of increasing the biofuel content from B2 to B5, especially with the recent implementation of the new round of increases in the excise tax on fuel in January. After all, the law requires the recommendation of the NBB before the DOE decides to increase the blend,” the lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, DOE said it will have to check DA’s proposal before deciding on the matter.
“We have to look and coordinate with DA first,” DOE undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.
Based on the Senate Committee on Energy’s study, switching from B2 to B5 may cause a 7.5 percent increase in the pump price of biodiesel, equivalent to P2.86.