CORTES, Bohol,The campaign of planting Jatropha, (kasla or tuba-tuba in vernacular) has gained support when Mayor Roberto Tabanera of this town has called on his constituents to plant more of this species in their respective backyards. The mayor made this in apparent response to mitigating climate change and for biofuel soruces, the source said. The province of Bohol is being groomed to be Jatropha production hub of the country, Zurina Amnan, chief operating officer (CEO) of Malaysian Bionas Group of Companies, said. Amnan bared this during the unveiling of the Bohol Jatropha Agripolitan in this town and ceremonial ribbon cutting for the operation of machineries in producing bio-fuel product out of the Jatropha or kasla or tuba-tuba plants in this town. Mayor Sofronio Apat of this town, Rep. Aris Aumentado, San Miguel Mayor Claudio Bonior, company officials and officer and members of the Bohol Jatropha Growers Association attended the activity.
Amnan said that the company, which also has Jatropha projects in other provinces in the country, chose Bohol to be the model of the bio-fuel industry in the country because you (growers) keep planting Jatropha while others don’t This prompted the company to keep its promise and after three months it delivered the machineries. The machines are here. It?s not an empty talk. We want Bohol to become the bio-fuel hub of the Philippines, Amnan declared.
She appealed to the growers and officials to support the company’s thrusts in reducing the carbondioxide emissions as a measure to mitigate climate change in its little way and to help eradicate poverty here by keeping planting the tubatuba. In return the company will not only buy the finish product of the Jatropha but also provide machineries to process the said product. In addition, she said, the company has increased the buying price of raw Jatropha as a gesture of support to the growers. Amnan announced that the buying price now is PhP15.00 from used to be PhP11.00 per kilo of dried seeds of Jatropha. This elated the growers by putting their hands together during the short program at the town’s gym. She said that this is the highest price the company has offered around the world and this makes Bohol the pricest buying cost, so far. Following the program, the company turnover the machines to the growers association led by Adrian Escabusa. These include the decorticator that processes about 300 kilos of seeds per hour; the boiler; and filter machine. All are run by electricity. The end product is ready to use for mixing with the fossil fuel in gasoline as required by the law.
Republic Act 9367, also known as Biofuels Act of 2006, mandates to mix biofuel, like end product of Jatropha, with the fossil-based fuel in gasoline or diesel used by vehicles for cleaner emissions. Seri Mohd Safi?eEm M. Jaffri of Bionas company said that biofuel especially from Jatropha provides cleaner emission and less carbondioxide from the car engines. Carbon dioxide contributes pollution and global warming, he said. He said that planting Jatropha would not threatened food production since the growers may utilize the idle lands that are planted with food producing plants. To switch from fossil petroleum based diesel to bio-fuel might need little effort, but it gives huge impacts to our environment and economy. It is 80% above when it comes to the reduction in carbon dioxide, sulphur fumes and even particulate matters that case the black smoke emission from diesel engines. The switch from fossil to biofuel might be our last hope to save the future generations, Jaffri said.
Bohol is now ahead in this endeavor with the machineries in place comparing to provinces of Ilioilo, Leyte, Cebu and Samar where they just started to plant Jatropha, Bionas company officials said. In an exclusive interview, Mayor Sofronio Apat said that he fully support the growers need. He said that the town temporarily provides a building, as factory of Jatropha, where the macnhineries are being placed while documents are being processed.
For his part, Rep. Aumentado believes that multi-million Jatropha industry will provide job opportunities and idle lands are being utilized. He said this matter will be brought before the meeting of second district mayors on August 23 in San Miguel, Bohol. Adrian Escabusa, president of Bohol Jatropha Growers Association, Inc., whose membership is now composed of more than 1,000, said that there are about 600 hectares already planted with Tuba-tuba for this purpose. He pins hope that this would encourage others to plant more tuba-tuba.