Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts of Bioethanol Production from Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and Molasses in the Philippines

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Rex Demafelis
  • Jovita Movillon
  • Canesio Predo
  • Dalisay Maligalig
  • Pamela Joyce Eleazar
  • Bernadette Tongko-Magadia
Keywords: sugarcane bioethanol, molasses bioethanol, socio-economic impacts, environmental impacts, Philippine bioethanol


As the Philippine bioethanol industry reaches a decade and the debate on what bioethanol blending shall be imposed, this study assessed the socio-economic and environmental impacts of domestic bioethanol production parallel to the objectives of the biofuels law. Bioethanol production in the country has generated significant jobs or an estimated jobs of about 2,073 based on the actual bioethanol processing data for Crop Year (CY) 2017-2018 for the three bioethanol production systems (BPS) studied; and could potentially reach 10,620 jobs if mill capacities of the two bioethanol plants are met. Additionally, bioethanol industry was perceived to have a positive change for sugarcane farmers in terms of employment opportunities and cash income from bioethanol-related operations. The domestic bioethanol industry has even opened additional revenues to bioethanol-related industries of about PhP 1.2 B (23.9 M USD) for CY 2017-2018 and could even reach to PhP 3.0 B (60.4 M USD) if bioethanol plants can attain its installed mill and cogeneration capacities. Environmental impact assessment study, on the other hand, revealed that domestic bioethanol production can reduce GHG emissions by about 68 to 91% for the four BPS evaluated, compared to business-as-usual scenario of using fossil fuel.