Filipino drivers no longer ‘Asiong Aksaya’ on gas

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02:02 AM May 11th, 2012

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May 11th, 2012 02:02 AM

Despite their notorious reputation for reckless driving, most Filipino drivers are more than willing to change their habits, if it would mean saving on fuel expenses.

Close to nine out of 10 Filipinos surveyed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. said they would change their driving behavior to save on fuel, while five out of 10 committed to be more active in saving fuel if they would be given more tips on how to do it.

These were part of the results of a research commissioned by Shell to look into the driving habits of some 8,000 motorists in 10 European and Asian countries or territories, including the Philippines, in order to understand how it could “help more drivers save more fuel, more often.”

Based on the research, Filipino drivers showed the most positive attitude toward fuel economy knowing that this would result in more savings. Also, 94 percent of Filipino motorists polled saw fuel efficiency as an important way to save money.

The research also included The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Respondents to the online survey conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 27 this year were those responsible for paying for their own fuel and other charges over a period of at least a month.

Positive attitude

They included about 1,000 motorists from the Philippines who spoke of their driving behavior and expressed their views about fuel efficiency and quality.

The results of the research, called Shell FuelSave Index, could be useful in drafting fuel conservation and efficiency measures, deemed crucial for a country like the Philippines, which imports almost 100 percent of its fuel requirements (crude and finished products) for transport.

Such measures could also help shield motorists from the volatility of fuel prices locally and abroad.

Fuel-saving tips

Filipino drivers also led their Asian counterparts in observing fuel-saving techniques, according to the research.

The Philippines ranked first in three out of the top 5 fuel-saving tips, namely: avoiding over-revving (79 percent), reducing speed (56 percent) and driving smoothly (53 percent).

The Philippines ranked second in Asia in avoiding excessive idling (25 percent) and ranked third in using the top gear (30 percent).

“It is encouraging to note that awareness on fuel reduction methods have increased in the past years,” the Shell FuelSave Index said.

“In 2010, the leading reason that prevented Filipinos from reducing fuel consumption was that they did not know how to, based on the responses by 41 percent of those polled. Today, this reason is down to No.  4 with only 12 of the respondents saying that they did not know how to reduce fuel consumption.”

The survey also showed that more education was needed for Filipinos to reduce fuel consumption, as some 20 percent of the respondents said there was not enough information to do so, according to analysts.

Target One Million

On Thursday, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.  launched its Target One Million, a campaign which the firm said was aimed at helping one million motorists across the globe learn how to save fuel.

The campaign will involve the release of a series of interactive, online mini-games to equip drivers with the skills they need to help save fuel and cut down their fuel costs.

“The launch of the … Target One Million website is Shell’s most recent milestone in our journey for smarter mobility and fuel economy,” Shell vice president for communications Roberto Kanapi said.

Shell FuelSave brand manager Rona Rodriguez-Baes said programs like  Target One Million were important in demonstrating “that by using these fuels and making a few simple changes to your driving habits, it’s easy for anyone to start saving fuel today.”

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