DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – The Department of Energy (DOE) is encouraging the transport sector here as well as the city government to adopt cleaner alternative fuel and energy technologies.
DOE officials recently conducted a multi-sectoral forum on cleaner alternative fuels and energy technologies in Dumaguete City to create more awareness and deeper appreciation of the utilization of alternative fuels.
Some 150 representatives from various sector including the local government, business, academe, civil society, and transport participated in the forum.
DOE Supervising Science Research Specialist Frederico Domingo cited in the forum that the transport sector cannot survive another major oil shock and if there are no alternatives this could hamper the economy.
Domingo said the transport sector consumes 30% of the country’s energy resource and 80% of the oil imported here are used by this sector.
The forum tackled some of DOE’s programs on alternative fuels which include the Electric Tricycle or E-Trikes and the Auto-LPG Program.
DOE Senior Research Specialist for E-Trike Christian Luke Sevilla presented in the forum the E-trike project.
He explained that the project aims to deploy 100,000 locally made E-trikes powered by Lithium-ion batteries to key cities and municipalities nationwide as well as to reduce dependence on fossil fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.
Sevilla noted that based on the 2012 data from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) there are 4,116,690 registered motorcycles and tricycles in the country.
DOE is aiming for local government units (LGUs) who are interested to adopt this project.
If an LGU signifies its interest to implement the project it may apply for a loan at the Landbank of the Philippines for the procurement of the e-trike units.
A unit of E-trike costs P455,917 but Sevilla said it can be paid through a “boundary hulog” scheme and tricycle drivers who are the recipients of the unit will pay around P400 “boundary” for five years.
Aside from this, the unit also comes with a five-year warranty, three-year comprehensive insurance and LTO registration.
However, one participant of the forum pointed out that the e-trike project is impractical because ordinary tricycle drivers cannot afford the price and the high specifications that go with it.
In response to this, Sevilla said they are looking for the possibility of lowering the cost through initiatives like advertising.
Sevilla cited the Boracay model of E-trikes which have body wraps around them.
“It has proven especially for the drivers that it would really help alleviate (in the cost) their payments. It would cost around, based on our computations, P1,000 to P2,000,” he said.
“Aside from the body wraps, there are also individual corporate advertisers and with the local advertisers as well, they can put their flyers there. That will lead for more advertising. We are also exploring LED billboards,” he added.
On the other hand, Domingo acknowledged that the project may seem impractical due to its cost.
However, with the e-trike, an ordinary tricycle driver can consider the P400 he spends for the unit as an investment compared to a conventional tricycle where all expenditures like gasoline, etc. are considered as an expense for the driver.
Although there are still challenges in the implementation of this project, the two official hopes that LGUs or the local transport sector will consider availing this project because of its benefits on the environment as well as the incentives it provides to tricycle drivers.
Meanwhile, DOE Senior Science Research Specialist Loreto Moncada tackled the Auto-LPG program of the department.
He explained that the program aims to “to diversify the country’s fuel resources, particularly in the transport sector, through the use of LPG as an alternative fuel source while contributing to addressing the air pollution caused by vehicular emission.”
With this, DOE officials hope that the transport sector will consider utilizing these technologies. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PIA Website on Sept. 26, 2016)