The growing focus towards a cleaner and greener environment has directed the Philippine Government to search for alternative renewable sources of fuel and energy that are also sustainable. With the recent enactment into law of the RA 9367 otherwise known as the Biofuels Act of 2006, the mandatory use of biofuels shall be enforced in support to the government’s goal in reducing dependence on imported fuels with due regard to the protection of public health, the environment and natural resources. RA 9367 is aimed at attaining the following objectives:
- Develop and utilize indigenous renewable and sustainably-sourced clean energy sources to reduce dependence on imported oil;
- Mitigate toxic and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
- Increase in rural employment and income;
- Ensure the availability of alternative and renewable clean energy without the detriment to the natural ecosystem, biodiversity and food reserves of the country.
Given these objectives and in support to the DA’s Biofuel Feedstock Program, DA-BAR’s Biofuels Feedstock Program supports biofuel feedstock research and development which may include identifying new feedstock, developing high yielding varieties, and developing new processing technologies in cooperation with public and private research agencies, and international research institutes. For bioethanol, several commodities have been identified as feedstock. These are sugarcane, sweet sorghum, cassava, and corn. However, the use of corn as a biofuel feedtock poses issues and threats on the supply of feeds for livestock. Cassava as feedstock is still in the R&D stage. Currently, the Department of Agriculture is focused in using sugarcane as feedstock. With the successful production of bioethanol from sweet sorghum, it can now be used as a complementary feedstock to sugarcane.