Electric vehicles bill honking in the Senate
As far as sustainable transport is concerned, the Lower Chamber was fast and furious. In less than six months, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5460, a bill that provides incentives for the manufacture, assembly, conversion, importation and use of vehicles using alternative fuels such as electricity. Also known as the AFV bill, the sustainable transport measure is now in the Senate; its main author, Sen. Ralph Recto, is holding the steering wheel.
“There's a small stretch of road to cover so it's time to put the pedal to the metal.This bill is not only about environment-friendly vehicles. It's about green jobs and energy security,” said Red Constantino, director of energy solutions think-tank, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. “The House has done its part and its now up to the Senate to steer the AFV bill past the finish line."
The AFV bill seeks to reduce the price of electric vehicles by at least 30 percent through a blend of tax breaks and non-fiscal incentives aimed at consumers and emerging local electric vehicle manufacturing and servicing industry. Once passed, electric jeepneys similar to the units plying Makati may fetch a vastly reduced price range of Php400,000 to 500,000 for 14-seater and 22-seater ejeepneys. Prices would also be far lower for smaller electric vehicle units such as etrikes and e-motorcycles.
Senate Bill 2856, known as the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives bill, is sponsored by Senator Ralph Recto and sourced from measures earlier filed by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes IV. The AFV bill carries provisions similar to House Bill 5460, which was passed by the Lower Chamber last March, such as providing tax breaks and institutional support among others to the consumers and to the developing sunrise industry. The authors of HB 5460 are Representatives Jose Zubiri, Hermilando Mandanas, Ryan Singson, Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez, Albert Raymond Garcia, and Rachel Marguerite Del Mar.
“With Senator Recto at the wheel, we have no doubt the Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) Incentives bill will pass before the session ends in June,” Constantino said.
In his sponsorship speech in 2011, Senator Recto said “by promoting AFVs, we shield ourselves from the volatility of oil prices, when tantrums of teapot dictators in OPEC countries can cause oil price shocks, or when a small rustle in the Arab spring can send oil prices to winter-time highs.”
“The AFV bill is a brilliant initiative, because it encourages competition and innovation, it supports local industries and promotes national independence - independence particularly from fossil fuels. We see the heart of the esteemed statesman Don Claro M. Recto in this bill and the modern mind of his grandson, Sen. Ralph Recto," said Constantino.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC) is a proponent of the electric jeepneys. iCSC believes the use of electric jeepneys creates a ripple effect in providing green jobs, energy security, public transport innovation, reduced air and noise pollution, a sustainable boost to tourism, and the reduction of greenhouse gases.#
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