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DTI mulls eco-PUV under CARS

MANILA, Philippines -  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is considering eco-public utility vehicles (PUV) as an option to utilize the third slot of its Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program.

“(We’re) Looking at options for the third cars slot – possibly eco-PUV,” DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters Friday.

CARS, which was implemented in 2015 through Executive Order 182, seeks to attract investments in the Philippine automotive industry in order to develop the country as a regional manufacturing hub.

Under the program, 600,000 vehicles needs to be produced by 2022. This will be composed of 200,000 vehicles of three model units chosen by the program.

Two model units have already qualified for the CARS program namely, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp.’s Vios as well as Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp’s Mirage and Mirage G4.

A third slot for the last model units has yet to be filled.

Rodolfo said the trade department is looking at eco-PUVs to fill the third spot of CARS, given the interest of stakeholders in the modernization of PUVs such as jeepneys.

The trade official also expressed his hope for local manufacturers, particularly smaller players, to produce the eco-PUVs.

“So we would like our domestic manufacturers to supply that,” Rodolfo said.

Rodolfo said local players will be allowed to import in the powerline, as smaller companies may have difficulty in providing this element.

In line with pushing for a more eco-friendly automotive sector, the DTI along with the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., and the Manila Electric Co. have organized the first ASEAN Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit to be held from June 29 to 30.

“We’re now exposing the Philippines as a potential hub for EV (electric vehicles manufacturing,” BOI executive director for industry development services Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said.

The summit, which is in line with the country’s hosting of ASEAN 2017, would gather over 600 industry players and stakeholders from Asean member states to discuss technology, innovation, policy, regulatory, environmental, and market topics that impacts all aspects of the industry’s value chain.

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