VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Ping Lacson’s claim that PH is ‘No. 1 producer’ of biomass needs context

Needs context

Pushing to develop alternative energy sources in the country, presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr. has claimed that the Philippines is the top biomass producer.

This needs context.


Asked how he would deal with the frequent oil price hikes to protect consumers against spiraling prices of basic commodities, Lacson, in a March 24 press conference, said:

‘Yung ating biomass, tayo ang No. 1 producer ng biomass; 1.3% lang ang naha-harness natin. Kailangan dugtong-dugtong ito, [‘yung] research and development, pondohan natin, dagdagan natin ng pera para makapag-research.”

([W]e are the No. 1 producer of biomass; we’re able to harness only 1.3%. It should be comprehensive … research and development, we should provide funds, give more money for research.)

Source: Ping Lacson Official Facebook Page, #TuloyAngLaban, March 24, 2022, watch from 37:24 to 37:36


Because Lacson did not cite a geographical basis for the country’s “top” ranking in biomass production, VERA Files Fact Check gathered data on the biomass production of countries in Southeast Asia (SEA).

A cursory search would show that the Philippines is the second largest biomass producer, at least among five SEA countries that have available data on biomass production.

In 2020, the Philippines produced 7.56 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) of biomass, next to Indonesia’s 7.80 million. Thailand is third with 444,361 TOE, then Malaysia with 241,000, and then Singapore with 70,400.

Source: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines’ Department of Energy

On March 8, Lacson said the Philippines is the second largest biomass producer. He neither indicated a geographical basis nor identified the source of his statement on the Philippines’ ranking in biomass production.

Biomass is organic material from agricultural residues, wood processing and waste, animal manure, and municipal solid waste then converted to biofuel, which has long been studied as a renewable energy source (such as biofuel) for transportation and electricity generation.


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Ping Lacson Official Facebook Page, #TuloyAngLaban, March 24, 2022

Ping Lacson Official Facebook Page, Sinong gustong mapababa… (Archived), March 8, 2022

On biomass production (in tonne of oil equivalent)

National Geographic Encyclopedia, Biomass energy, Nov. 19, 2012

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Biomass Explained, June 8, 2021

U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Biofuel Basics, Accessed March 11, 2022

Science Direct (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences), Climate Vulnerability: Biomass, 2013

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Bioenergy (Biofuels and Biomass), Accessed March 11, 2022


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)