MANILA—Spearheading the drive towards energy efficiency, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa turned over Friday 24 advanced hybrid vehicles to various national government agencies (NGAs).
During the ceremonial turnover held at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) headquarters, Cusi highlighted the “promotion and mainstreaming of efficient, emerging and advanced energy solutions to manage our energy utilization and consumption levels — from the households all the way to the energy-intensive sectors”.
Cusi pointed out that the program aims to promote the local use of efficient and environment-friendly alternative fuel vehicles by deploying demo units and consequently developing familiarity with their operation, maintenance and service.
With the government leading by example, he said, NGAs that use alternative fuel vehicles nationwide would help trigger a paradigm shift in the mindset of the public, which should result in a dramatic reduction in both fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Underscoring the responsibility of recipients, the energy chief said, “We entrust the 24 units of highly fuel-efficient 2017 model Hybrid Toyota Prius to our partner agencies, which are fortunate to act as government’s veritable endorsers of clean technology and harbingers of the future of passenger transport.”
The Japanese government gave the Philippines a 500 million-yen grant for the procurement and delivery of next generation vehicles — hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles under the Japan Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) with the DOE as its implementing agency.
This initial donation of Japan-made, Toyota Prius sedans will go to the Office of the President, the departments of interior, finance, foreign affairs, budget and management, transportation, trade, tourism, environment, and science and technology, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
As agreed upon, the NGA beneficiaries will assist the DOE in its conduct of research, performance testing and promotion for the local adoption of alternative fuel vehicles.
A total of eight units will be distributed to NGAs in Eastern Visayas involved in emergency response operations and rehabilitation, such as the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
After the ceremony, Cusi and Ishikawa took a test drive around the DOE compound.
The turnover ceremony of the vehicles for Eastern Visayas is scheduled on May 25. Another 45 units of the 2017 model of Toyota Prius will be used as patrol cars by PNP-Eastern Visayas, particularly in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.