The Federation of Philippine Industries said Tuesday the Office of the President ordered the Department of Agriculture to look into the alleged illegal use of imported palm olein in biodiesel.
FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said this robbed the government of billions of pesos in revenues while hurting the domestic coconut industry.
The investigation stemmed from Arranza’s letter to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. discussing the “alleged modus operandi” of unscrupulous palm olein traders.
“The reality is that a big portion of the imported palm olein is being diverted for sale to either producers of biodiesel, an additive to diesel fuel, and to the retail market [public markets, groceries, supermarkets, and sari-sari stores] as cooking oil for eventual sale to the consuming public,” he said.
Arranza said that while pertinent Department of Energy regulations specifically provide that only coconut oil can be blended with diesel to produce biodiesel, some importers were delivering palm olein instead to substitute for coconut oil.