US, Philippines to partner in biofuel research

October 27th, 2009 - 5:50 am ICT by IANS  

Manila, Oct 27 (IANS) Visiting US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said his government is seeking partnership with the Philippines in biofuel research.
Speaking at a press conference Monday, Vilsack said both countries recognise the need to cooperate more intensively in energy security, especially in the development of renewable energy resources and alternative fuels, Xinhua reported Monday.

“We are looking at a relationship and partnership with the Philippines in terms of research on biofuels. We recognise and appreciate that you’re faced with the same challenges we’re faced with. You don’t want to be reliant on one form of energy,” Vilsack said.

The Philippines is the world’s second largest user of geothermal energy, which provides 27 percent of the country’s total electricity production. It is also developing alternative energy sources such as solar and wind energies.

At present, the Philippines is advancing the development of biofuels such as coco-diesel and ethanol blended fuels.

“That’s one relationship that we can get at, the biofuel business and I’m sure that we’ll continue to share information, knowledge and discoveries,” Vilsack said.

As to American investments in the Philippines, Vilsack said he is optimistic that the Philippines can attract more investors from the US.

“The reason being is that if we can see investment here, chances are good that there will be resources, services, goods, and essentially benefit US companies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Vilsack also announced that the US government is providing $8.5 million worth of food assistance from his department for victims of the two storms that affected tens of thousands of people in Central and Northern Luzon, including Metro Manila.

The food assistance, he said, will be in the form of rice, biscuits, and dried milk that will feed about 438,000 people for 60 days.

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