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Philippines to Ban Incandescent Bulbs
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:33:29 PM »

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippines will phase out incandescent bulbs by 2010 in favor of more energy-efficient fluorescent globes to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and household costs, the president said Tuesday.

Acknowledging similar moves in Canada and Australia, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for a ban on incandescent bulbs.

"Like Australia, we should phase out incandescent lights by 2010," Arroyo said in her closing remarks at the Philippine Energy Summit.

The Asian Development Bank, a technical adviser at the summit, lauded the Philippine plan as a first in Asia. It said the most effective way to reduce the demand for electricity and greenhouse gases was to use energy more efficiently.

The bank "will support and encourage other developing countries to follow the Government of Philippines' lead and make the switch to more energy-efficient products like compact fluorescent lamps," Thomas Crouch, deputy director general of ADB's Southeast Asia Department said in a statement.

The Manila-based development bank said it was considering extending a $30 million loan to the Philippines to help fund energy-efficiency programs, including projects for low-income families to mitigate the financial impact of changing from incandescent globes to the more expensive fluorescent alternative.

Fluorescent bulbs need just 20 percent of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use to produce the same amount of light. They also last six to ten times longer than the average incandescent bulb.

The Asian Development Bank said the switch would cut household lighting costs by as much as 80 percent and — because the amount of electricity used would be drastically lower — reduce the Philippines' annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2 million tons starting in 2010.

Three years ago, Cuban government workers went door to door in many neighborhoods replacing incandescent light bulbs with more-efficient alternatives to counter crippling energy blackouts across the island. The scheme inspired Venezuela to give away energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs.

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