Pushing for Ethanol Bill
In these increasingly difficult times – as felt by motorists appalled by the unstoppable rise in fuel prices plus the expected value-added tax (EVAT) –Senator. Richard Gordon's pushing for the passage of the ethanol bill is encouraging.
According to the senator, "Ethanol is a viable answer to the oil crisis and other related economic problems besetting ourcountry today."
He said ethanol is a renewable energy source that can be produced locally from indigenous agricultural crops like sugarcane. It is an ideal fuel blend or additive for gasoline that is also environment-friendly, he said.
The bill, when passed, will provide the necessary legal framework for the National Bio-Ethanol Program, which aims to reduce the country's dependence onimported fuel.
Citing figures, he said, "Starting from the use of five per cent blend of ethanol in gasoline from year 2007 to 2010 and 10 per cent blend from 2010 to 2017, a total of 3.6 billion liters of gasoline will be displaced by an equal volume of ethanol over a 10-year period."
This will mean savings for the country of US$285 million over 10 years, or US$82 millionannually.
The senator said that the promotion of the local ethanol industry would translate into agro-technology development, increased investments, additional employment, increased government revenues and a multiplier effect on support/downstream industries and the service sector.
He proposed the creation of agro-industrial economic zones with post-harvest facilities and ethanol fuel tanks in strategic locations in the country.
Aside from cutting on energy dependence on imported oil, he said ethanol could also be a potential export produce for the country. Brazil, for example,pioneered in the production of ethanol fuel in the 1970s to combat rising energy costs, and now exports to Japan and other countries.
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PHILIPPINE STAR OPINION
FROM THE STANDS,
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005
Domini M. Torrevillas