First Vehicle Fuel Economy Labeling workshop held in the Philippines

The first official workshop on Vehicle Fuel Economy Labeling on October 13 gathered input from government agencies on the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Philippine Energy Standards and Labeling Program launched in 2016.

The workshop – organized by the Philippine Department of Energy, Clean Air Asia and GIZ in Makati – provided impetus for the program’s policy development process. The program (Department Circular 2016-04-0005) is aimed at establishing labeling for lighting, appliances and vehicles, as well as specifying product-particular requirements on entry into the market. The draft IRR proposes mandatory fuel economy labels for new light duty vehicles (LDVs). Clean Air Asia is working with the Department of Energy on the vehicles component of the program.

Taking part in the workshop – facilitated by Clean Air Asia Transport Researcher Mark Tacderas and GIZ Regional Advisor Hannah Ebro– were representatives from the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies.

“We [The Philippines] lag behind other ASEAN countries in fuel economy policy,” said Art Habitan, Chief of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Division of the Department of Energy, which is implementing the labeling program.

In opening the workshop with the agency’s Philippine Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap 2017-2040, Mr Habitan said: “This labeling program has been launched as a start to promote energy efficiency in the transport sector as a short-term measure under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap.”

The Department of Transport, which represents the Philippines in the ASEAN Land Transport Working Group, presented the National Implementation Plan for Transport in the Philippines, in which the role of fuel economy policies has been recognized as a key measure in achieving sustainable transport.

With guidance from Mr Tacderas on the technical aspects of the IRR, participants were asked to answer questions pertaining to the six components of the labeling program: The regulatory framework, program design, compliance and enforcement, consumer awareness, label information and design, and performance monitoring.

Ms Ebro facilitated a breakout session during which participants identified possible program challenges and solutions. Among the challenges raised was the need to align regional Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and ASEAN initiatives related to fuel economy labeling, and the current capacity to conduct vehicle fuel economy testing.

The session was designed to develop recommendations for the Technical Committee to be established in November 2017 by the Department of Energy during a second follow-up workshop that will include a large stakeholder group. It is envisioned that the Technical Committee will lead the development of detailed design, methodology and other technical components within the program.

Clean Air Asia conducted the workshop in collaboration with the Department of Energy with the support of GIZ and UN Environment, and also supported by the European Commission, the Global Environment Facility, and the FIA Foundation. The initiative is in line with regional work on fuel economy policies in the ASEAN region. Clean Air Asia is also a regional partner of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) in Asia. GFEI aims to improve fuel economy by 50 percent by 2050.