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Philippines: Towards environmentally friendly engines

2008.06.25 Makoto Nakagawa

Since it does not have a good train transportation system, even in large cities, taxis, buses, jeepneys (public transport based on stretched American jeeps), and minibuses are the main public transport in the Philippines. Many of them are second hand cars from other countries, and emit exhaust gas which does not seem to pass emission regulation.

The Philippine government said it would lend up to 1 billion pesos (22 million dollars) to owners of taxis and buses to convert their diesel engines to more environmentally friendly engines using fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas.

This environmental policy also aims to help people who have been suffering from the steep rise in international oil and food prices. Diesel costs 49 pesos (1.10 dollars) per liter, while around one third of the Philippine's nearly 90 million people live on less than 1 dollar a day. Liquefied petroleum costs 31 pesos per liter, and is said to give better mileage. The high international oil price is one of the main reasons for the high inflation rates in the Philippines. The government hopes reducing dependency on imported fuels will have a positive impact both on the country's environment and economy.

Photo:Central Manila in the morning. Exhaust gases turn the clear blue sky into a gray polluted one.

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Philippines (Asia/Oceania

Makoto Nakagawa

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