MANILA -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) isn’t discounting the possibility of eventually ending Philippine importation of waste-based processed engineered fuel (PEF), an alternative to fossil fuel used in cement production. 

DENR is looking into possible production of PEF in the country so cement producers can buy this product from local sources instead of sourcing it abroad, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.

“They won't have to import PEF,” he said.

News reports this week cited Bureau of Customs as intercepting, in Misamis Oriental province, shipment originating from Australia and declared as PEF consigned to Holcim Philippines Inc. for this company’s use in cement production.

DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) confirmed the shipment is PEF, as noted by the agency’s hazardous waste chief Gerry Sañez.

"PEF can be imported as it's tradable commodity and not mere waste for disposal," he also said.

Wood chips, textile, recyclable plastics, cardboard and paper are among waste materials that can be used in making PEF, said Irvin Cadavona, EMB environmental management specialist.

He said when burned, PEF emits lesser carbon dioxide compared to fossil fuel.

“As far as I know, there’s no PEF processing plant in the country yet but it’s good to have this so the commodity can be produced locally,” he said. (PNA)