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FPI says gov’t agrees to investigate claims palm olein being used in fuel blend

THE Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said the government has agreed to a request by the federation to look into allegations that imported palm olein is being used illegally in fuel blending.

In a statement on Tuesday, FPI said its chairman, Jesus L. Arranza, had written the Office of the President detailing the alleged fuel blending activity.

Only coconut oil is permitted as a blending agent in biofuel under Department of Energy (DoE) rules.

Mr. Marcos is concurrently the Secretary of Agriculture. His staff told the FPI that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been instructed to investigate the allegations and take the needed action.

“The Presidential Management Staff, in a correspondence to Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, told the department to evaluate and take appropriate action on the issues discussed by Mr. Arranza in his letter to the President,” the FPI said.

Mr. Arranza’s letter to the President said the fuel blending activity is being facilitated by importers taking advantage of the advantageous tax rate for palm olein used in animal feed.

“Since coconut oil is always priced much higher than palm olein, Mr. Arranza said these importers are getting another windfall of cash from substituting coconut oil with palm olein,” the FPI said.

Mr. Arranza claimed in his letter that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) does not have a list of feed producers to help it determine the likelihood of palm olein imports being used in animal feed.

BusinessWorld asked the BAI to comment but it had not replied at the deadline. — Ashley Erika O. Jose