The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Friday urged local government agencies to consider putting up charcoal briquette businesses in their respective areas to provide an alternative source of income for their constituents.

Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) director Romulo Aggangan said the department is willing to make an arrangement for LGUs to be trained on charcoal briquetting.

“For advance information, they can view the videos on the FPRDI Youtube (channel) to see lecture and audio-visual presentations on how to make briquettes,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

The FPRDI, he said, can conduct training in the community when requested. Participants could learn charcoaling and briquette, and briquette making.

According to the DOST, charcoal briquettes, which are more efficient than ordinary charcoal, burn longer, are easier to ignite, produce intense heat, and with very little smoke.

Last month, the FPRDI trained farmers in Santa Magdalena, Sorsogon on charcoal briquette production. “The LGU requested it so that the beneficiaries could have an alternative source of income, something like a small enterprise in the community,” Aggangan said.

While there are no talks yet regarding further assistance, Aggangan said the DOST provincial office had mentioned its willingness to assist the province when it decides to proceed with the project.

“The DOST Provincial Science and Technology Office (PSTO) – Sorsogon is yet to have a formal coordination with the Santa Magdalena LGU regarding the project, and the office is waiting for the LGU’s decision if they will proceed with the acquisition of equipment for that technology,” said DOST V Regional Director Rommel Serrano told the PNA in a separate interview.

Serrano added that the PSTO – Sorsogon made a commitment to extending its assistance to the FPRDI once the training beneficiaries decide to go on with the project.

The training involves the process of producing charcoal briquettes out of abundant biomass resources such as bamboo, corn cobs, rice husk, among others. (PNA)