Press Release
October 25, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that the time is right for the development and implementation of an electric vehicle program in the country, which would greatly lessen the Philippines' dependence on imported fuel sources and simultaneously lower the nation's carbon footprint.

The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) has been pushing for an electric vehicle and green transport solution which, aside from the environmental impact of using cleaner transport, would also create a new industry for the country. The project has been tagged as a priority by the commission for 2011.

"We import roughly 96% of our petroleum, the majority of which is consumed by the growing transport sector. This same sector accounts for the biggest share of the energy use, nearing 40%," said Angara.

"It has long been one of the goals of the government to become energy independent. I believe that this can be achieved by promoting innovative projects that can reduce our foreign dependence on fuel and at the same time create a less-polluted, environmentally friendly cities," noted Angara, who Chairs COMSTE.

Angara referred to a recent ADB study showed that Metro Manila ranks high among the megacities of Asia that have air quality problems, with a level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) that is more than double the standard of the World Health Organization. The DENR has also identified that 70% of air pollution in Metro Manila is from motor vehicles, "highlighting the need for a cleaner mode of transport," Angara said.

COMSTE has studied many programs that could help in addressing the energy and environmental issues of the transport sector. A specific target was the public utility jeepney, which accounts for nearly 70% of the public transport of metro manila.

Angara also said that Taiwan is interested in collaborating with the Philippines to develop new technologies for batteries which would greatly improve the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles. COMSTE studies show that a locally produced electric vehicle is a potential export industry for the region.

COMSTE has already submitted a proposal that would introduce the electric jeepney as the foremost mode of tourist transport around the province of Aurora. This initial undertaking will provide a blueprint for similar projects that could be easily replicated in other areas.

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