By Vicente Labro
Visayas Bureau
Philippine Daily Inquirer

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) is planning to plant around 100 hectares of land in Leyte to jatropha, a source of alternative fuel.

Ralph Salazar, director of PNOC Alternative Fuels Corp. (AFC), said their company has been looking for idle land in Leyte for its biofuel crop plantation project.

Salazar said the PNOC-AFC has been supporting Republic Act 9367, or the Biofuels Act of 2006, which was signed into law in January 2007.

The law mandates a one-percent locally sourced biodiesel blend in diesel fuel within three months from the time the law took effect, a five-percent locally sourced bioethanol blend in gasoline and two-percent biodiesel within two years, and a 10-percent bioethanol in 4 years.

According to Salazar, the PNOC-AFC aims to establish 700,000 hectares of biofuel crop plantations throughout the country by 2012.

Salazar, who hails from Leyte, said in Eastern Visayas, they initially established a 10-hectare jatropha plantation in Barangay (Village) Capinyahan in Naval town, Biliran province, planting around 25,000 jatropha seedlings early last week.

They would soon enter into a memorandum of agreement with a cooperative of 18 farmers in the village to care for the plants until the trees mature and bear fruit, which will then be sold to the government.

Over the next two years, or about the time it the jatropha seedlings to mature and bear fruit, the farmers will be given squash and corn seeds for intercropping. The produce will be bought by PNOC-AFC to ensure the farmers have a source of income and to ensure the sustainability of the project.

“We started in Biliran because the farmers are enthusiastic about the jatropha project,” he said.

Dr. Roberto Visco, PNOC-AFC operations manager, said they are planting the jatropha curcas variety and expect to harvest an average of eight tons of jatropha seeds per hectare.

PNOC-AFC1 – Director Ralph “Raffy” Salazaar (front, wearing hard hat) of the PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corporation shows the correct way of planting jatropha to farmers belonging to the Sitio San Juan Pinahan Multi-purpose cooperative in Barangay Pinahan, Naval, Biliran who initially planted 25,000 seedlings in a ten hectare land in the village.

Director Ralph “Raffy” Salazar (second from right) of the PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp. hands over a seedling to a group of farmers belonging to the Sitio San Juan, Pinahan, Multipurpose Cooperative in Brgy. Pinahan, Naval, Biliran. The farmers initially planted 25,000 seedlings in a 10 hectare land in their village.

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  1. Hello, Sir good day to you…I read all about the jatropha and i am very interested with this topic…i am from brgy. Lico Naval Biliran Province…and I work here abroad …can you please send me more information about this topic…
    Thank you and more power to you and good luck to your project…

  2. Andy,
    If you would like a link to talk with PNOC-AFC Director Salazar and discuss this project with him, i can arrange for this but kindly furnish me your email address. I will send some reference materials on jatropha through the mail as soon as you provide me your email address. Mabuhay ka and more power.

  3. madlangbayan, sir:

    That jatropha things is that the latest craze in Palawan?
    How viable is that?
    Do you know how that investor-buy-land-government-buy-product scheme works.

    Appreciate your sharing this issue. If you can share more info, that
    will be doubly apppreciated. Are you related to Doug?


  4. Kritik,
    Maayong adlaw sa imuha. You are right. Last year the provincial government of Palawan has committed to allocate at least 30,000 hectares of land for use in the cultivation of jatropha. A MOA was entered into between Palawan and the PNOC-AFC. On the other hand, in Biliran, a MOA was entered into between the farmers’ cooperative in Brgy Pinahan and the PNOC-AFC through the efforts of Director Raffy Salazar. In fact, next month, tentatively, the PNOC-AFC Board of Directors including the Chairman and its President will be in Naval, Biliran to inspect the site and to hold their bimonthly board meeting there.
    As to your query on the mechanics, here it is: First you must identify the land to be planted. Lands should be idle and or alienable lands, any private idle land, and lands owned by the government or the municipality or the province.. You see jatropha can be planted in between coconut trees but not in farmlands. The government discourages planting in ricelands, only idle, barren and alienable land.
    Second, after identification of lands, a municipality, province or farmers cooperative (you can organize yourself as farmers’ cooperative) can enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the PNOC-AFC.
    Third, upon entering into a MOA, PNOC-AFC will provide the seedlings based on your need. In addition, PNOC-AFC will also provide intercropping modules such as squash and corn seeds. This is intended so that farmers can have a daily source of income, while the jatropha reaches its fruit bearing stage which usually takes from 1 year to 2 years. PNOC-AFC, would also provide the technology and technical training needed to develop the jatropha. As in the case of Brgy. Pinahan, 2 days after the seedlings were planted, Dr. Visco, PNOC-AFC operations manager went to the plantation site to talk to the farmers and conducted a seminar on jatropha.
    And finally, after the jatropha reaches its maturity or bears fruit, the fruits will be bought by the PNOC-AFC. So that’s it. As to your question if I’m related to Doug, I’m not, but I have relatives in Biliran province.

    I hope this enlightened you. If you still have any queries just give me an email adress and I can mail you materials on jatropha. Lisod diri sa blog kay tingali magluod pud an uban bloggers kay mugamit dako space for my answers.For the people, Rise Biliran, Mabuhay Biliran! Mabuhay ka!

  5. Madlangbayan,

    At least ang mga walay gamit nga yuta sa una magamitan kung matamnan aning jatropha.

    I’m so impressed of you coz you really know a lot of things. I’ve been reading almost all of your blogs. Daghan ko makat-onan sa imoha. Mao nga thumbs up gyud ko nimo.

  6. madlangbayan,

    Salamat na pod sir sa imong higayon pagbalos sa akong mga
    pangutana. Honestly, sir, I feel disappointed that you are not going
    to try political office soon. I hope someday, maybe when you retire, you will rethink to enter politics to help more people around you. Keep us updated here.

    About this jatropha thingy, is it okay if you post your
    email address here or I will ask jalmz to give you my email address?

    Again, my sincere ty and nice chatting with you via this forum.

  7. Ulmigas,
    That/s true, that’s why in Brgy Guinsaugon, St. Bernard Southern Leyte, Congressman Roger Mercado initiated a program to plant Jatropha and Mango seedlings. If you will remember, Brgy. Guinsaugon is where the most disastrous landslide event in Philippine history occurred claiming the lives of over a thousand people.

    Last September 2007, the people through the initiative of Congressman Mercado planted those seedlings there. You see jatropha is not only a viable source of fuel, with its strong, deepening roots, jatropha can further be used for reforestation. This is jatropha’s strongest plus factor, thus it can be used as a forest cover.

    Jatropha is no strange crop among Filipino farmers. For the longest time, it has already been part of the rural farming landscape as traditional medicine. What is new is how
    many farmers are now looking at jatropha as a potential economic crop and a viable source of biodiesel.
    Thank you and mabuhay ka!

  8. Post 8 Kritik,
    Thank you sir for considering me as a candidate, but again I must say, that is not my kind of cake. There are a lot of avenues for service and running for political office is just one of them.

    Right now, I enjoy my work as consultant for a couple of government entities and as program planner and implementor of an international agency which is into poverty alleviation programs for the people. Part of my work also involves advocacies in environmental conservation and good governance.

    However, as a concerned citizen, I will certainly push for a certain candidate who has character and heart. As I have said in previous blogs,a candidate who has the character to lead and the heart to do good for the people. It is unfortunate that politics in our country has been a politics of personalities and money instead of genuine commitment to service and uplifting the lives of our fellow Filipinos.

    As to your concern regarding jatropha, you may email me at [email protected]. Maayu adlaw kanimu. For the people, RISE Biliran, Mabuhay Biliran, Mabuhay ka!

  9. Madlangbayan,

    I totally remember Brgy Guinsaugon. Who could ever forget the devastating landslide that happened there. Anyway, it is really nice to know that jatropha is of great help. Providing lots of information about this would definitely make us aware of the usefulness of this plant. I hope that all barren lands that are feasible of these jatropha would planted so that every square inch of the lands in our country would be in use.

    Just continue of your information drive regarding this. Thank you so much for spending time & effort just to share your knowledge. I’m looking forward for your blogs in this site. At least I would learn something informative from you. Mabuhay ka!

  10. Madlangbayan,

    Sir, ikaw lang akong tawgon ana kay imong mga blogs/post dire puro halangdonon man. Nangayo
    man lang ko ug tabang og
    motobag man ka ug tarong, dali ra,
    ug decente pa jud.

    Was thinking initially of asking you via emails but for the benefit of sharing
    your vast knowledge to everyone, it would be better if we do it here nalang….para ang tanan dunay makotlo sa imong nahibalo-an. Everyone should emulate you good traits, sir.

    Akong simple questions, for now, mao ni:

    1) dunay bay requirement sa size of land to join the program,

    2) do you know any coop agreements already outside Naval? (my area of concern is Caibiran). If none, who
    is guiding to organize such coop? And if there is, who is the contact person?

    Mao lang na pagkakaron.
    Tingali uban na-ay pay
    pangutana ug hina-ot unta
    anhi lang ibutyag aron mahibalo-an sa tanan.

    Daghang salamat na pod.

    Keep in touch.

  11. kritik,
    Maayong adlaw kanimo. Thank you and let me answer your questions as briefly as I can. I also get to know these things through my interaction with PNOC-AFC Director Raffy Salazar, as this is part of his poverty alleviation and environmental program for the province of Biliran. Although, I am part of a team of professional consultants for these as far as program monitoring and success targets and project viability is concerned. Thus, we provide the tools for research, parameters and framework for success indicators. Director Salazar implements and decides as he would like that projects are not just implemented but that all targets and objectives are achieved and fall within the template of sustainable economic and environmental development. So here are my answers to your queries.

    1) dunay bay requirement sa size of land to join the
    The answer is none really, as long as the land is idle, alienable and disposable. Barren lands are encouraged for planting of jatropha, it being a good tree for forest cover and with its roots, holds the soil well, thus serves as a deterrent for landslides. At present, Director Salazar’s target for planting jatropha is around 50-100 hectares all over Biliran province.

    2) do you know any coop agreements already outside
    As of the moment, the plantation in Brgy. Kapinyahan, Naval, Biliran is the first plantation in Biliran. It is supposed to be a pilot plantation. It is also the first coop arrangement entered into with PNOC-AFC in the province of Biliran. Although, during the board meeting yesterday of the PNOC-AFC, Director Salazar made representations in behalf of Biliran for the possibility of a nursery in the province. As for your case, you can certainly plant in Caibiran.

    3) If none, who is guiding to organize such coop?
    You can organize a cooperative in Caibiran and then request PNOC-AFC through Director Salazar for seedlings so that the program can also be implemented in your area.

    4) who is the contact person?
    The contact person is Director Raffy Salazar, he decides where and when to implement such projects in this part of the country. In this case, I can help you by providing the link with Director Salazar so you can directly discuss it with him.

    Daghang salamat sa imong interes parti kining proyekto ug Mabuhay ka!

  12. Mabuhay ka rin, sir, for your unselfish contribution to the community.

    Mabuhay din si jalmz for putting up this site for everyone to know what is going on in the local surrounding.

    Mabuhay pati yung kapwa kababayan who help
    themselves to improve their economic conditions.

    Mabuhay tayong lahat.

    So to keep this topic flowing, I have another set of questions:

    1) MOA with PNOC-AFC: is it possible to get a copy or provide copy to jalmz for him to post somewhere in this forum as reference related link?

    2) Income potential:Time Magazine, per wikipedia, recently cited the potential for as much as 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel per acre per year. Possible locally? And how much
    is the figure for that PNOC buy back product?

    I have other questions but I will do it one at a time.
    I hope you have a good weekend, sir.

    Mabuhay and salamat.

  13. Kritik,
    Sorry for the late reply. I just arrived from Manila yesterday and really exhausted after trekking the mountains of Naval with Director Salazar, a team of geologists and the Director of the Philippine Tourism Authority to explore potential sites for tourist hot springs development. But it was one hell of an adventure as i once again beheld the really beautiful landscape of the province and of naval. We also inspected the jatropha plantation. I’ll post the MOU or MOA tomorrow as I have asked PNOC-AFC to provide me a copy of it.
    By the way Jalmz, please open your mail. I sent something back. I also sent my cell number so we could communicate faster. Thank you and good day.

  14. Sir,

    No need for apology for the late reply. I understand you have other important things to do. The fact is,
    you replied and that’s what matters most to us. Thanks.

    I had the chance to talk to the Caibiran farmer by phone and he heard about this tuba tuba thing which I believe is the jatropha.

    He said he know someone in the area planted already the stuff and I am just wondering how this could be when you said you just started the project in Naval.

    At any rate, the farmer is excited to hear that we can help him how to start this off in his town and he is
    willing to organize officially with your blessings and guidance.

    So, how can the farmer contact Director Salazar directly? Physical office address/email address/phone number? If not ok with you to publish
    publicly here, kindly forward to jalmz
    and he will send the details to me and i will contact the “caibiran farmer”.(thanks jalmz).

    I suggested to the farmer that he should attend any “seminar” or “lecture if any. Is there any soon?
    I am willing to pay for his expenses/fees.

    Sir, appreciate also for making the MOA available.

    Am glad to know you had a nice weekend and got the nice view/nice tourism plans in the province.

    Keep it up!

  15. Kritik, Good day to you. i just talked with Director Salazar and he said, to give me the address and name of the farmer and we will drop by anytime next month. He will personally orient the farmers regarding the jatropha.

    On the other hand, you said that there is a jatropha plantation already there, but I think that one is not under any arrangements with PNOC-AFC. There are a lot of jatropha varieties and they do exist anywhere, but what the PNOC-AFC propagates is the jatropha curcas, the highest grade or variety. This variety is expensive and yields more fruits.

    Please ask Jalmz to email the name, address of the farmer. Or email it to me at [email protected]. As for the MOU i’ll send it to Jalmz. Thanks and have a nice day. Mabuhay ka

  16. Sir, maayong buntag pod diha(gabi-i dire).

    I will email you the name of the farmer and if
    you want I will ask him to gather the other
    farmers in one place to do your lecture.
    I will provide the food for your group.
    Inato lang ha? Just let me know in advance the
    exact date and time you are going so that
    I can assemble them.

    So let’s stay in touch. Mabuhay ka rin, sir!

  17. Thanks to Madlangbayan and Director Raffy Salazar for introducing JATROPHA in Caibiran. I am pretty sure your efforts
    to uplift the economic conditions of some townfolks who initiate to help themselves will be a rewarding one.

    Below is the link of what transpired, the voice recording and embedded pertinent images, on April 4th 2009. It’s a 90MB and 54 minute file and may take time to view or download depending on connection. So be patient and enjoy. Thanks again.

  18. Ooops…sorry, jalmz, i forgot to mention to thank you also for
    facilitating the dissemination about JATROPHA in your website.

    May you have a simple fun of 4th anniversary and hoping other generous donors will find a way to your just and fair cause for your website survival beyond the 4th year.

    Again, THANKS!

  19. An Open Letter of Thanks

    I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to “madlangbayan”



    who made the effort to distribute the jatropha

    seedlings in Caibiran.

    Even though we are far away, it just shows that if

    there is communication and concern for the welfare of the

    general population back home, and sincere help from the

    likes of those two people, BIG HOPE is in the air.

    Again, thank you, Gentlemen.

    May your tribe expands.

    There is still a lot of work to do though.

    I was informed that getting “permit” to get organized for the

    cooperative is facing bureaucracy or shall we say, “politics”.

    That’s not a surprise and I hope you Gentlemen will initiate to

    make a change – a change for the good for the masses not

    for the old- political family style.

    Thank you for the third time and more power to you whatever

    is your plan in 2010.

    ps: hey, admin, salamat pod.

  20. To Anti-Dynastiya,
    Here is the updateL
    As of today, there are six jatropha plantations situated in Naval, Biliran, Caibiran and Kawayan. This brings to a total of more than three hundred hectares planted to Jatropha and more than four hundred farmer beneficiaries who are currently enjoying this livelihood project.
    As of date too, Director Raffy Salazar has initiated a jatropha nursery, the first in this part of the region. This nursery will be raising four million seedlings in order to service the whole of Visayas.
    Next week, the expeller for the Jatropha fruits will be delivered to Naval.
    You will hear more of this later.


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