( courtesy of Malaya Business Insights , Manila Standard june 14, 2018 , and Philippine Daily Inquirer )
Consumer group backs use of coal in factories
June 13, 2018
Consumer group Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) is seeking government support on continued use of coal for industries producing basic goods amid recent price spikes caused by the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
?Coal at the moment remains the number one source of electricity in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Coal is also the cheapest energy resource,? the group?s president and former undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, Vic Dimagiba said.
His statement came after the recent spikes in the prices of basic goods such as canned products, vegetable and meat products, and other important commodities due to the effect of the TRAIN law.
Dimagiba said according to the latest suggested retail price (SRP) released on June 8, prices of sardines, corned beef, meat loaf and other canned products have increased by P0.55 to P0.90.
He said coal is currently being used as a cheaper alternative to bunker fuel and other energy sources in the production of sardines, instant noodles and processed goods which makes government support for stable costs and the uninterrupted supply of coal a much needed intervention.
At present, coal is being used as the cheapest fuel for steam and hot water for canning vegetable, fish and meat products; it is also used to warm hothouses for high value crops such as chili, lettuce and tomatoes.
Coal is also as fuel for sterilizing milk, dairy and beer products.
Dimagiba also warned a coal shortage crisis that hounded the fishing and canning industry in Zamboanga late last year created shutdowns in two canning companies in the region and nearly caused hikes for the price of sardines nationwide.
Shortages in the supply of coal to canning companies can result in non-operation of major players, causing higher prices in sardines and affecting the income of tens of thousands of canning workers in key areas such as the Zamboanga region, General Santos, and even Metro Manila.
Dimagiba had earlier opposed the nearly 3,000 percent increase in excise tax on coal.
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