Press Release
December 26, 2010


The Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) identified the development of electric vehicles and green transport as priority projects of the commission for 2011 in an en banc meeting held at the Senate recently.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, enumerated the flagship projects of the commission, which are Telehealth for remote areas and Digital Medical Records, Remote-Sensing for Agriculture, Electronic Vehicles and Green Transport and Disaster Science, Biotechnology for Health and food security, and Renewable Energy Systems.

Angara said that innovative Green transport systems such as electric tricycles, hybrid jeepneys, buses and electric bicycles have the potential to lessen pollution caused by conventional transportation and the dependency on fossil fuels.

"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, who Chairs COMSTE.

"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

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.

The Bamboo electric bicycle is lightweight, weighing only 18 kilograms a full 3 kilograms lighter than conventional electric bicycles. The electric motor (200W, 36V-10A) and battery of the bicycle has a range of 30 kilometers on a 5 hour charge when used over level ground but since the bamboo electric bicycle is a hybrid, where the electric power is used only for assisting the biker for uphill climbs or to get a boost of speed, the range is multiplied several times over.

Dean Toby Dayrit of the School of Science of Ateneo de Manila University regards this as a great example of industry-academe collaboration leading to new social entrepreneurship options for the Philippines.

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