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E-vehicle makers support bills on incentives

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) supports  two bills filed at the Senate, with one seeking to provide both fiscal and non-fiscal perks and the other focused on non-fiscal incentives only, as such will allow the EV industry to move forward even as the government is undertaking a review of all fiscal incentives granted.

In a statement, EVAP president Rommel Juan said the bills filed by Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV are welcomed by the group as the government is now in the process of reviewing all fiscal incentives it has granted.

“The government is now checking on their effectiveness and how many have benefitted from them so far before granting new ones. This will enable us to move on with the non-fiscal incentives so that they will not be hampered by the delay in the fiscal incentives,” he said.

In the 15th Congress, Sen. Ralph Recto filed an Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) bill which also sought to provide incentives for the EV industry.

A counterpart bill was filed at the House of Representatives by Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas.

Both were approved and reached the bicameral committee but were not able to get approval before the end of the 15th Congress.

Apart from the bills filed by Aquino, the AFV bill was re-filed by Recto with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in the Senate for the 16th Congress.

At the House of Representatives, four different versions of the AFV bill were filed by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Abigail Binay, Rodolfo Biazon and Mark Villar.

The bills seek to provide fiscal incentives such as exemption from payment of value-added tax, excise tax, as well as import duties.

Non-fiscal incentives being pushed include the exemption from the Motor Vehicles Users Charge which motorists must pay whenever they register with the Land Transportation Office, priority registration in the issuance of plate numbers and renewal of registration, priority franchise application for public transport operators, exemption from the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program or the number coding traffic scheme of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and free and dedicated parking slots for EVs in new commercial establishments.

Juan said the EVAP sees the pending measures as positive developments for the EV industry.

Fiscal incentives are expected to make EVs cheaper for consumers and help position the country as a hub for manufacturing EVs in the region.

“This makes perfect sense as we need to promote the use of EVs and develop this industry with a possibility of making the Philippines the EV manufacturing hub of Asia,” he said.

Both fiscal and non-fiscal perks are also seen to allow for increased production of local EV companies in partnership with foreign firms.

“This we expect will take the EV industry to the next level marked by increased production and assembly by local EV companies in partnership with foreign partners. This will ultimately result in a transfer of technology that will be good for us,” he said.

The EVAP is pushing for the use of EVs in the country as such provide eco-friendly and efficient transport.

ABIGAIL BINAY ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES ANTONIO TRILLANES AQUINO AT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BATANGAS REP ELECTRIC VEHICLE ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES FILED FISCAL INCENTIVES
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