President Aquino urges Filipinos to help promote use of renewable energy, cites importance of addressing massive problem of climate change

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President Benigno S. Aquino III encouraged the major stakeholders in the energy sector to work hand in hand with the government in efforts to promote and implement the use of renewable energy as he stressed the importance of addressing the massive problem of climate change that is hounding not only the Philippines but also the rest of the world.

In his speech during the “1st Philippine BioEnergy Conference at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park in Manila, Thursday, President Aquino said that the success of saving Mother Earth lies in the unity of the people from all sectors of society to ensure a better environment for the next generations to enjoy.

“Working together, we can make the year brighter for many Filipinos, and for many people around the world. With your help, we can have more houses capable of switching on lights to welcome each New Year. With more emphasis on Renewable Energy resources, we can even make our own small contribution to addressing the massive problem that is climate change,” the President said.

“And if all of us—from different sectors and countries—can pull together and succeed, then we will indeed have brightened more than houses; we will have lit a beacon of hope, that humanity may thrive in communion with the Earth for many more generations to come,” he added.

The Chief Executive also noted that renewable energy has always been a key consideration towards achieving the vision of a greener and more vibrant Philippines.

He expressed elation in seeing the sector’s stakeholders gathered and united in discussions to formulate more options that may lead to using renewable energy resources, like bioenergy that is beneficial to the environment and the people.

At present, the President said, nearly 39 percent of the country’s energy requirements are being sourced out through renewable sources such as hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind, and biomass.

The government projects that the biomass sector’s contribution will increase from 39 megawatts of energy in 2010 to more than 300 megawatts by 2015.

The President said that this increase will also provide 89 thousand more jobs for the people apart from the stimulation of local economies that would create even more economic opportunities.

“Our projections also indicate that, in achieving this goal (biomass sector’s increase), around 89,000 more jobs will be generated for Filipinos. These of course have a multiplier effect, because citizens with sources of income become empowered consumers, who can stimulate local economies and create even more jobs,” President Aquino said.

“The effects of advancing the biomass sector will also reach close to 577,000 farm families who can benefit, for example, by gaining additional income through the sale of agri-waste or forest residues that can be used in the development of biomass resources,” he added.

Also present during the event apart from the major energy players were other government officials led by Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

With the theme, “Green Investments, Providing Solutions towards Energy Sustainability”, the event envisions a vibrant and profitable agribusiness sector in the country, promoting more green industries such as agribusiness, biofuel feedstock production and processing as well as the production of high value commercial plantation crops.

The two-day international convention aims to introduce the current status of the bioenergy industry and its latest developments, projects, and research initiatives currently undertaken, as well as its relevance to climate change and ecological balance as well as to the investment opportunities in the bioenergy sector to contribute in the economic growth of the country. (jcl/1:10 p.m.)