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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, April 20, 2012
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with Rolly Espina

Bioethanol program clarified

Rolly Espina

The confusion and debate over the bioethanol program have cleared up except for some items that are intended to be addressed this month.

In short, that is expected to signal a scramble by investors in bioethanol production, according to Rosemarie Sonora, head of the planning and policy department of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, and a member of the biofuel export council.

She clarified that the governing rules crafted by the SRA and other agencies in the National Bioethanol Board in the utilization of locally-produced bioethanol which also provide the price index of bioethanol as with the SRA as lead agency in its formulation.

But the recommendation for a 20 percent tariff for imported bioethanol was not signed by former President Arroyo because it was not endorsed favorably by the Department of Energy.

The NBB handles policy formulation and dissemination, the DOE is in charge of industry development, while the DA, SRA, and PCA handle feed stock development, production, and extension.

On the other hand, BOI, DTI, and DOLE handle investments, incentives, and promotion. The DOST, meanwhile, handles research, development, and deployment. While there is no tariff on imported bioethanol, the saving factor, Mrs. Sonora said, that hampers the import of finished blended fuel is the 12 percent VAT, which is paid by the importing firms.

The other factor that is conducive to investor confidence is the new rules on the implementation of the 10 percent bioethanol blend in August, last year. No firm is allowed to import ethanol unless it buys first its committed volume of local bioethanol.

The critical point is the end of April when oil companies submit their committed bioethanol volumes.

This is the critical month that will test how effective the implementation of the program on the use of local ethanol is.

A major point – the reluctance by oil companies to report their expected importation of petroleum products. Invoking corporate confidentiality.

Still, as pointed out by the SRA representative, the more important is that they commit themselves to buy a specified volume of local product bioethanol.

In short, locally-produced bioethanol is being allocated to oil players based on the committed volumes of producers.

Oil firms will be penalized at P500 per liter if they fail to lift the allocated local bioethanol. The same workplace levied on producers if they fail to produce the committed volume of bioethanol.

A biothanol price index had been set up by the SRA as lead in the computation and elimination of the right values of the parameters used in the formula.

I shall come out with more details later.


Unless the Supreme Court issues a TRO, the election for the next congressman of the fifth district is still on.

At least, based on the latest reports from the district, the campaign by the two aspirants – so far, Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol and Provincial Board Member Emilio Yulo II – started yesterday.

Lawyer Romulo Makalintal will file before he Supreme Court a petition to stop the holding of special election in the fifth district on June 2 for “violation of the law.”

He reportedly pointed out it is illegal because it will be held beyond the period of province for by law.

In short, even if it is not pushed through by the Commission on Elections, there is no stopping preparations by both parties already been undertaken. So what the Comelec in consonance with the law enacted with the support of all the congressmen of Negros Occidental sill in on.


Perhaps, God has His own plan on why we are currently undergoing the pains that our people are suffering from.

This may be intended to send abroad more Filipino expatriates to other countries of the world to help evangelize them, said James Araneta, a local catholic leader of Bukas Loob.

Araneta pointed out that there are thousands of Filipinos expats in countries of Europe and the Middle East. They are virtually everywhere. And most of them are Christians and many of them have converted people to the faith, Araneta said.

I agree with Araneta. I had seen churches in Europe emptied except for the aging. And where again most of the churchgoers were Filipinos.

The same spectacle in true in the case of the United States.

And the most telling statistics are the latest which show that the great majority of Pinoys believe in God, contrasting sharply with the rise of Atheism in other countries of the world.

God works in mysterious ways and He has His own mind which we cannot fathom.*

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