Public transport shift to electric vehicles needed soon, says DOTr chief

Public transport shift to electric vehicles needed soon, says DOTr chief
A staff charges an electric vehicle using the newly installed fast charger at the UP Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute in Quezon City on December 21, 2021.
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — The shift from gas-fueled transportation to electric vehicles is needed now more than ever, said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

“We want a green transport system to be in place sooner, and we are working on a roadmap to transition public transport system to EVs,” Bautista said in a business club forum.

In fact, the transportation agency was reportedly studying the possibility of requiring public transportation to shift to electric vehicles due to its contribution to both government and non-government efforts to decarbonize the country’s road network and improve air quality.

Reports say that the Department of Transportation was also considering giving incentives, like tax breaks and “soft loans,” to the country’s transport operators to help them jumpstart their shift to EVs.

“We are also asking the transport operators that instead of running on Euro 5 and Euro 6 engines which are of less air hazard emissions, they can go on full electric since such would be our way to a total green transport system,” Bautista said.

Earlier this year, the government issued the Executive Order No. 12 series of 2023 aiming to lower the tariff rates for EVs and its components from 5% to 30% all the way down to amended 0%.
Several types of EVs received the said tax breaks except for e-motorcycles that are still subject to 30% import duty despite holding a large number of motorists in the country. 

Based on Statista Research Department, almost 7.81 million registered motorcycles at tricycles are tallied last 2022.

The Department of Trade and Industry initially said that the implementation of EO12 will nourish the local industry of EVs and it will help persuade Filipinos to use a cleaner mode of transportation. 

Various stakeholders have also expressed their appeal to make the EO more inclusive by including e-motorcycles on the temporary suspension of import tariff rates. 

The import tariff break for e-motorcycles was supported by Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines President Edmund Araga while noting that opportunities must be given to local manufacturers.
“It will be welcome on our part kung bibigyan din sila [e-motorcycles], kung mabibigyan din sila ng exception. Kasi sa ngayon, wala pa talagang legit na makakagawa sa amin ng e-motorcycles, in particular. And that this would be a good opportunity kung sakaling ipu-push ang e-motorcycles," Araga said.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has been pushing for the usage of EVs in the country by strictly implementing the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) amidst the increasing prices of gas. 

The implementation of EO12 is one of the solutions of the government to slash the carbon emission in the country to improve its air quality. 

The Department of Energy will also roll out almost 2.45 million EVs and 6,500 EV charging stations nationwide between 2023 and 2028.

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