Latest Stories


Heherson Alvarez and organic farming


I read with interest former Sen. Heherson Alvarez’s article in the Inquirer’s Commentary column on Saturday about climate change and steps the government is doing to address the problem.

Even when he was still senator and secretary of environment and natural resources, Alvarez was at the forefront of the campaign to reduce air pollution to offset the effects of climate change.

One of the adverse effects of climate change was super typhoon “Pablo” that wrought havoc in the once storm-free Mindanao late last year.

“A notable (government) program concerns national greening. It targets the planting of 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of degraded or denuded areas during the period 2011-2016,” Alvarez wrote.

If the project is done in earnest, the next generations of Filipinos will see thick forest covers in our mountains that  used to be denuded.

There will be less floods and landslides as the roots of trees in the mountains will absorb the water during heavy downpour.

* * *

What also caught my attention was the former environment and natural resources chief’s mention of organic fertilizer in rice production.

“Locked for decades in a chemical production system, we have become a rice-importing nation, although rice is our main staple. It is a vast opportunity for organic fertilizer development,” said Alvarez.

I am now personally involved in the propagation of organic fertilizer and pesticide in vegetable farming, my humble contribution to a green environment.

My farm in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan province has become a demonstration farm for vegetable farming using organic fertilizer and pesticide.

The demonstration farm project is a joint undertaking of the Department of Agriculture and the Vegetable Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association (Vieva), a private entity.

I have opened my farm to people who wish to learn to grow vegetables through organic farming.

Thank you, Mr. Alvarez, for making a pitch for organic farming that does away with toxic chemicals.

* * *

However, I disagree with Alvarez in his proposal to modify the diesel-run engines of some 500,000 Metro Manila vehicles by replacing these with new ones.

Diesel-run vehicles emit carbon dioxide from its engines causing 5,000 premature deaths due to air pollution, said Alvarez citing a World Bank study.

There’s no need to replace the diesel-fed engines of  public utility vehicles, as well as those privately owned.

There’s a product in the market that cleans up the engines and makes them lose 98 percent of black soot emissions: D-1280X.

Partas Bus Company, which uses D-1280X on its buses, is all praises for the product as all its buses now pass the emission tests conducted by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Pasang Masda, the country’s biggest association of jeepney operators and drivers, is currently testing D-1280X on its units.

A Pasang Masda official said the cause of  vehicle pollution is dirty fuel, not the engines.

Since we’re a Third World country, we are a dumping ground of dirty fuel, said the official who didn’t want to be named.

“Even if we change the engines, there will still be pollution,” he added.

Pasang Masda has found that jeepneys using D-1280X have considerably reduced carbon emission.

Alvarez may want to call Riza Lim at 0917-8436043 or 0927-3601336. Lim is a local executive of the company that distributes the United States-made product.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Climate Change , column , diesel-run engines , environment , Heherson Alvarez , Metro , organic fertilizer , Ramon Tulfo

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace