The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) may delay raising the biodiesel content in diesel fuel to 5%, from the current 2%, until next year as it awaits the results of an impact study being done by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
“The decision can be made this year but the implementation can be next year,” said Acting Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada.
DOE earlier said the target was to increase the biodiesel blend to 5% by the end of this year.
The current 2% biodiesel content in diesel fuel has been in place since February 2009.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had conducted an earlier study on the impact of the increased blend but in February 2015, UPLB was tapped for further assessment.
The National Biofuels Board (NBB) said it commissioned the new study to evaluate the impact of increasing the biodiesel blend to 5%. The Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006 mandated the NBB to regularly review the biodiesel content in diesel fuel.
“We want to consider the impact on the agriculture sector, specifically the coconut industry. We want to be sure that the farmers will really benefit from this,” Monsada said.
Under the Philippine Energy Plan 2012-2030, the DOE aims to increase the biodiesel blend to 5%. By 2020 and 2030, the target is to raise the blend to 10% and 20%, respectively.