Duterte told to implement 5% biodiesel blend
Representatives of coconut farmers, coco oil producers and the business sector are urging the Duterte Administration to immediately implement the Biofuels Act of 2006 (Republic Act 9367) mandating that all diesel fuels sold in the domestic market be blended with five percent Coco Methyl Ester (CME).
The production of the 5 percent Biodiesel Blend, known in industry circles as B5, can help address the problem of plummeting copra prices, the stakeholders group said in a resolution.
The very low prices of copra, the resolution pointed out, is adversely affecting the livelihood of 3.5 million coconut farmers and their families as well as the coconut-based export sector.
“Increasing the current biodiesel blend to 5% as mandated by law will increase domestic crude coconut oil (CNO) utilization and thereby contribute greatly in the stabilization of domestic copra prices,” the resolution stated.
Biodiesel is a blend of diesel fuel and coconut methyl ester, a derivative of coconut oil.
The resolution was issued after a roundtable discussion attended by the various stakeholders of the coconut industry.
It was initiated by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) as part of the agency’s efforts to effectively resolve the current copra price crisis.
PCA Administrator Romulo J. de la Rosa said the increase in the demand for coconut oil brought about by the move to B5 could push copra prices to the vicinity of P30 per kilo which, in turn will translate to about P22 per kilo at the farmgate.
The current price of about P13 in the remote areas is below the breakeven copra production price of P15 per kilo.
De la Rosa said that the price of copra has declined because of a glut in supply in the world market of vegetable oils as well as speculative behavior by global traders reacting to announcements by the European Union (EU) that they will ban the use of palm oil in their biofuels program.