MAKATI CITY— In a recent session of the Trade and Industry Development (TID) Talks held on November 13, 2023, the Board of Investments (BOI) emphasized the promising prospects that the Bio-based economy (BBE) presents to the Philippines, highlighting its potential to drive sustainable industrialization and foster economic development.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
In this installment of the TID Talks, which was held in a hybrid setup, a panel of experts showcased the trade and investment potentials of developing BBE in the country. This dynamic session produced a range of strategic recommendations, charting a course for advancing the development of three key BBE sectors: biofertilizers, bioplastics, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) industries.
In the first panel discussion, UPLB-BIOTECH Director Fides Marciana Tambalo, Director U-Nichols Manalo of DA, Mr. Mario C. Labadan, Jr. of AgriSpecialist, Inc. and FPA Officer-in-Charge Rowena C. Reyes recommended the revisit of the procurement process, localized research, and mapping through the use of new technologies like GIS, and researches on how local biofertilizers can reduce carbon emissions compared to synthetic fertilizers.
Dr. Jey-R S. Ventura of UPLB, Dr. Ian Dominic Tabanag and Gio Sikat of DOST, CEO of Oikos Sustainable Solutions, Ms. Lizzie Guerrero, and Mr. Viraj Klewpatinond of the Plastic Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries joined the second panel discussion. Dr. Ventura presented various types of bioplastics that can be produced by locally utilizing various feedstock abundant in the Philippines.
The last panel discussion focused on SAF, an industry that is not yet present in the Philippines but offers significant market potential considering net zero carbon commitment from the global aviation industry. The Philippines is strategically poised to become a SAF manufacturing hub considering the local availability of feedstock.
According to Mr. Samuel David of IATA, SAF stands out as the most significant opportunity for the global aviation sector to achieve decarbonization. Presently, international aircraft fleets are actively engaged in a competitive pursuit to identify reliable and sustainable suppliers of SAF. Mr. Ves Yraola III of Cebu Pacific Air proudly shared their experience in launching two flights utilizing SAF and how the company is contributing to further discussions on SAF for the Philippines.
Mr. Raffy Diaz of the Philippine Biodiesel Association, Ms. Queenie Rojo of the Ethanol Producers Association of the Philippines, Chief Sofia Paula Fulmaran of CAAP, and Director Ruby De Guzman of DOE-REMB shared the same perspective on the feedstock development, as they agreed on crafting a national feedstock assessment and strategy in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.
The panelists recommended a policy on whether mandating the use of SAF, incentivizing, or combining both is something the stakeholders need to firm up in the Philippine SAF Roadmap. Investments in infrastructure should also be considered in establishing and increasing SAF manufacturing capability. To move forward with these recommendations, Mr. Batungbacal called for the organization of an Industry Association for BBE.
Moreover, BOI Resource-Based Industries Service Director Raquel Echague assured prospective biofertilizers, bioplastics, and SAF investors that the CREATE Act makes fiscal incentives available for them.
DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico Paringit, in his closing remarks, emphasized the importance of collaboration among academe, industry, and government in pushing for relevant, appropriate, and cutting-edge R&Ds related to BBE. He also lauded the BOI for conducting activities like the TID Talks to begin the discussions on what actions need to be taken to move the BBE economy forward.
The TID Talks session was held to recognize the urgent need to have multi-sectoral discussions on various aspects of developing BBE, particularly in the areas of feedstock development, R&D and technology development, having enabling policies in place, and harnessing public-private partnerships. END