Press Release
November 30, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today pushed for the rationalization of the country's research institutes under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during the Senate budget hearing.

He proposed to rationalize the numerous research institutes, centers, and councils of the agency and merge them to avoid redundancy and streamline the agencies' initiatives.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, further outlined some of the priority initiatives of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

This includes the Green Transport initiative and Electric Vehicle program, highlighting the cooperation between the DOST, COMSTE and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) in the development of new technology that can produce more efficient, low cost batteries and new electric vehicle design initiatives.

The electric vehicle initiative is being pushed to address the growing need for more eco-friendly, and sustainable transport. Angara said that the program can lessen the dependence on imported fuel sources and lead the way to creating energy independence while also lessening the carbon footprint of the transport sector.

Angara also highlighted the renewable energy initiatives like the establishment of the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI), which will be the medium for new technologies like developing algae as a biofuel, and the formation of a local solar testing facility.

A team composed of members from Ateneo University, Alson Aquacutlure Inc., and two other photo bio-reactor companies are tasked tp study optimal conditions that will promote the growth of algae and the cleaning of coal fired plants by placing nearby aquaculture ponds.

The US- based National Renewable Energy Laboratory is currently studying the most viable strains of algae that they can use as a renewable energy source to produce diesel, gasoline and even jet fuel.

Angara noted that even big oil companies such as Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil have started to research the use of algae as fuel. Some airlines have also begun test flights consisting of biofuel blends.

Angara also discussed the National Telehealth Project, which was initiated by the University of the Philippines-Manila as a prime example of the need to have good technology transfer, so that the country can replicate the success of telehealth projects in other countries in the local setting.

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