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Support for electric vehicle use incentivization grows

Incentivizing the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country in a bid to reduce carbon emissions has gained the support of various mobility and clean air advocates.

"In this day and age, it's important that we recognize policy and technology solutions are key to ensuring significant and efficient emission reduction in our cities and in national governments," Dang Espita-Casanova, program manager at Clean Air Asia said in a statement.

"This process we believe should be participatory, inclusive, and highlights the co-benefits of actions so that we are able to engage and enlist support from all actors in the space," Espita-Casanova said.

Meanwhile, chemist and university professor Abigail Arillaga is backing the move to incentivize the use of EVs to help mainstream their use.

Arillaga said the introduction of EVs to the country can help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses which are harmful to the environment.

"In the Philippines, sad to say, if we cannot incentivize its use, it will be difficult to persuade others to patronize this product over the traditional one or over the other," Arilaga said.

The government has issued Executive Order No. 12 series of 2023 which temporarily modifies the tariff rate for electric vehicles and components.

The order, however, did not cover electric motorcycles and other two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Under EO 12, only kick scooters, self-balancing cycles, bicycles, and pocket motorcycles with auxiliary motors not exceeding 250 watts and a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour have zero percent import duties, while electric motorcycles are still subject to a 30% tariff rate.

For his part, Stratbase ADR Institute president Victor Andres Manhit urged for the revision of the EO to include e-motorcycles in the tax relief.

Mobility advocacy group Electric Kick Scooter of the Philippines (EKS PH) co-founder Tim Vargas said it is “unfair” that electric motorcycles were not given tax breaks like other types of electric vehicles. 

Arillaga, likewise, said that it will be harder to shift to EVs unless the government rolls out monetary incentives for its use along with an awareness campaign of its benefits and comprehensive research on its effectiveness.

She said that while EVs are being explored, the shift to the new mode of transport should be gradual as the country still relies on non-renewable energy sources.

According to the Statista Research Department, the power production in the Philippines is still dominated by coal at 47.6%, other fossil fuels at 18%, and gas at 10.7%, which totals 76.3%.

Various types of renewable energy like wind, solar, bioenergy, hydro, and other renewables make up 23.7% of the country's total power source.

Clean air advocates have been pushing for the shift to electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions in the country as transport is the main source of air pollution and other issues relating to global warming.

The Philippines aims to go full-on electric vehicles by 2040.

The Department of Energy said it is eyeing to boost the share of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country beyond the mandated 5% mandatory share of EVs in public and private sector fleets as it works on the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle (EV) Industry (CREVI), which will provide the timeframe for the mandate. 

As it works on formulating the EV industry roadmap, the DOE said it is “batting for a faster and broader commercial scale rollout of EVs in the country once the CREVI is approved, as the 10% EV rollout under the clean energy scenario will be increased to 50% by 2040.” —VAL, GMA Integrated News