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    Posted January 28, 2014 by

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    Phl senator to revive bill on energy

    AS energy crisis looms, Philippine Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday suggested the passage of a bill on energy that was introduced in the Lower House during the 15th Congress.
    Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, made the suggestion after learning that the Renewable Energy Management Bureau under the Department of Energy could not develop ethanol and biomass as source of fuel for lack of funds.
    "Why not get the Malampaya (funds) for the improvement of energy source or energy development? That's another source. What will happen to the sugar industry if you only have P13-million funds?" Villar recommended told Mario Marasigan, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau.
    Speaking during the second public hearing on the proposed Sugar Cane Industry Development Act, Marasigan told the committee that they only have a total of P13- million budget for the research and development on biofuel.
    Villar said the budget is too low, prompting her to suggest the use of Malampaya funds.
    "Perhaps, you can tell Secretary (Jericho) Petilla that the sugar industry is looking for funds to develop ethanol and energy from bagas (wastes from sugar cane). Maybe we can get from the Malampaya funds," she said.
    Villar noted that the sugar industry faces a challenge in 2015 when sugar tariffs for imported sugar will be lowered from 10 percent to 5 percent. She cited the need for a concerted effort of all stakeholders in the industry to make the sugar supply sufficient and the industry competitive.
    She said the Senate can coordinate with Malacanang for the use of Malampaya funds to help in the development of ethanol and bagas as a source of fuel and energy.
    "That is why we are asking them to study this possibility of tapping the Malampaya funds," Villar said.
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