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PIA Press Release

RP switches to climate-friendly CFLs

Roxas City (18 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced this week the country is switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) as the Philippines' contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

The announcement came on the heels of the commitments made by the Philippine government at the just concluded second round of talks on climate in Bonn, Germany that include deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.

President Arroyo said the government will distribute 30 million pieces of CFLs to be funded out of the proceeds of the value added tax (VAT) in a project that was conceived and launched months ago as the country accelerated its response to the global call for reduction in GHG emissions that are seen as the primary cause of global warming and climate change.

The first tranche of five million CFLs will be distributed free of charge in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro City starting in August.

The President said the P500-million allocation for the CFL program will be released to the Department of Energy (DOE), the principal partner of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the project.

The announcement was made by the President in her address during the closing session of the two-day High Level Dialogue on Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

The President said the switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs is a joint undertaking with the ADB under President Haruhiko Kuroda as part of the Green Philippines Agenda.

This development became a prelude to the June 17-20 working visit of the President to Japan where she was set to sign two Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan packages worth $456 million that would open at least 53,000 new jobs. From Japan, the President and her party will proceed to Brazil, June 22-25.

She pointed out that the logic behind the nationwide replacement of incandescent bulbs is simple: An incandescent bulb consumes five times more energy than a CFL. Yet, the latter produces the same amount of illumination.

The President said the nationwide distribution of CFLs is part of the Green Philippines Agenda, which puts emphasis on a sustainable economic model that gives optimum economic opportunities without sacrificing the environment.

By replacing greenhouse-emitting incandescent and yellow bulbs with CFLs, the Philippines will be initiating reduction in carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change, the President said.

She said the CFL program is "our contribution to the joint ADB-DOE project which, in turn, provided a $31.1 million concessional loan with 50 percent clean development mechanism (CDM) paid in advance."

"If our country is to do its fair share then the developed nations, with their historically much greater contribution to climate change, must help us take a less private intensive role to sustainable development including expanded carbon markets, investments and technology transfer," she pointed out.

The President said that "as an international community, we must act together and we must act with the rest of the world and most importantly, we must act effectively and we must act now." (OPS-PIA) [top]

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