Higher biofuel blend takes effect in October

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
Higher biofuel blend takes effect in October
Motorists get their tanks filled at a gas station along Commonwealth Avenue on February 19, 2024.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The government is raising the country’s biofuel blend – more than a decade after it last adjusted the mix rates – to reduce the prices of various fuel products in the market.

The Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday issued the necessary guidelines for the implementation of the higher biodiesel blend in diesel and bioethanol mix in gasoline.

Citing the National Biofuels Board (NBB), the DOE said increasing the biofuel blend would reduce the pump prices of both diesel and gasoline, thus alleviating the burden of rising fuel prices on consumers amid disruptions in the global oil market.

Under the guidelines, the DOE ordered the mandatory increase of biodiesel blend in all diesel products sold in the country to three percent (B3) from the current mix of two percent starting Oct. 1.

Subsequently, the biodiesel blend will increase to four percent by October 2025 and to five percent starting October 2026, according to the guidelines.

The increase from B2 to B5 in 2020 was delayed due to lack of assurances on the sufficiency of biodiesel supply and logistical limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last time that the biodiesel blend increased was in 2007 when it was adjusted to two percent. It has remained at such rate since then.

Furthermore, the DOE has allowed downstream oil industry participants to voluntarily sell gasoline containing 20 percent bioethanol, double the present blend of 10 percent.

The ethanol blend in gasoline has stayed at 10 percent or E10 since 2012.

The United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila earlier said hiking the bioethanol blend to 20 percent could cut fuel prices by as much as four percent, resulting in as much as P16 billion in annual savings for Filipino vehicle owners.

For the week beginning May 14 until May 20, gasoline prices in Metro Manila ranged from P55.50 to P85.72 per liter while diesel prices were between P51.49 and P80 a liter, based on DOE monitoring.

The NBB endorsed in November the mandatory increase in biodiesel blend as well as the voluntary increase in bioethanol blend, according to the DOE.

Under the Biofuels Act of 2006, all liquid fuels for motors and engines sold in the country must be blended with biofuels.

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