Buses and jeepneys will soon be running on natural gas and fuels which are cheaper, economically viable, and more environment-friendly.
This is part of the government’s plan said Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, during his presentation in the DOE Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Roadshow here at the city last week.
“It is part of our dream to have 200 natural gas-run buses running by the end of 2012 and 1,000 more by 2013, and at least 1,000 natural gas jeepneys in Metro Manila running by 2013,” Almendras said.
According to Almendras, with the continuing increase in the demand and price of fuel products and slower increase in the production of supply in the global market, they are now pushing for the shifting to a more sustainable and indigenous sources of fuel which is more economical and environment-friendly.
“If we use natural gas, it is not only cheaper than diesel and gasoline but also much cleaner, which means less pollution. Our studies show that if we run 1,000 natural gas buses in Metro Manila, we will have cleaner air which will reduce the 147 ppm (parts per million) down to about 90 plus ppm, which is about closer to the internationally accepted level of 90 or less ppm. It is not only about energy but it has environment and economical initiative,” Almendras stressed.
He also bared that DOE is also now pushing for electric tricycles. By next year they will be launching a ‘Rent-to-Own’ program for electric tricycles.
“There are about a million registered tricycle in the country and I was even told that this could reach about 2.5 million if we count all those are not registered or colorum tricycles and through our pilot programs we have proven the fact that this would increase the daily take home pay of drivers by about P150 to P200. Not to mention the fact that after five years, they would not need to pay boundary anymore as they will own the unit,” Almendras said.
The other good news here is that aside from being economically viable and environment-friendly, it also has a social impact: even if the price of fuel increases, tricycle fare will not increase, Almendras said. “We all know that tricycle is the transportation mode in rural areas and in the disadvantage sector of our society,” he added.
“Our problem here in the country is we keep on complaining about fuel prices but we are not moving towards solution, which is why we at the DOE has taken the lead in providing what we now called FSTP or Fueling Sustainable Transport Program, wherein we have identified all possible alternative fuels for our transport sector,” Almendras explained