Transport group seeks jeepney fare hike

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2012 07:21 PM | Updated as of Aug 30 2012 04:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A transport group is pushing for a P2 increase in minimum jeepney fare to P10, from the current P8.  Pasang Masda is set to file a fare hike petition either tomorrow or Friday after diesel prices breached the P45 per liter mark.

This comes after a Malaysian firm has developed a fuel additive that utilizes jathropa as main ingredient. Bionas has partnered with local transport groups in promoting B30, an additive for diesel run engine and M30, for gasoline.

The Philippine government already shelved an earlier program on jathropa propagation for biodiesel after initial tests proved jathropa oil is not viable for biodiesel.

But Bionas said the success lies in the nano-emulsion and polarization technology where biofuels become additives to fossil fuel to make it more efficient and environment friendly.

With this new fuel additive, Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said drivers will save around 20 to 30% in diesel consumption which translates to around P270 per day.

The diesel additive is currently priced the same as fossil fuel but it promises better mileage and less smoke emissions.

The company has 3 plants already in the Philippines - namely in Basilan, Zamboanga del Norte and Bohol.

According to Martin, the test will complement the current alternatives the group has started. These include used cooking oil converted to biodiesel, LPG as alternative to diesel and electric-run jeepneys.

The Department of Energy has warned motorists on the use of additives or biofuels sourced from jatropha. 

Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug said there are no conclusive tests yet to prove the claims of jathropa biofuels companies.

Layug advised motorists not to use these kinds of additives or biofuels on their vehicles.

But Layug clarified that Pasang Masda can try the biofuels pushed by Bionas on a limited scale but not on a commercial basis.