By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian said the country can now look forward to transitioning to sustainable transportation with the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act having lapsed into law last April 15.
“From the initial proposal of having a national policy and regulatory framework for the use of Electric Vehicles and the establishment of electric charging stations, we have come up with a law that will not only promote the use of EVs but develop the industry as well. The local production of EVs, which some industry players already initiated ahead of this new law, will not only increase the uptake of EVs but likewise pave the way for the generation of new jobs and reduce the transportation sector’s reliance on imported fuel,” said Gatchalian, principal author, and sponsor in the Senate of RA 11697.
A salient feature of the new law is the creation of a Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of EVs in the country which includes the construction or installation of charging stations in dedicated parking slots and spaces. The CREVI shall be incorporated in the Philippine Energy Plan and the National Transport Policy.
The measure also requires industrial and commercial companies such as cargo logistics companies, food delivery companies, tour agencies, hotels, power and water utilities to ensure that at least five percent of their fleet should comprise EVs. Public transport operators and government units are also included.
“Mataas man ang presyo sa kasalukuyan ng mga EVs, inaasahan natin na mapapabilis ang pagbaba ng presyo nito at maaaring mas abot-kamay pa sa tradisyunal na mga sasakyan ngayon kung mapapalago natin ang industriya sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said.
The Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee earlier said that if implemented correctly, it can help reduce oil consumption in the country by as much as 146.56 million barrels per year and create $9.8 billion or almost P510 billion in savings per year based on the current exchange rate.
Under the new law, fiscal incentives are provided in the manufacture and assembly of EVs, charging stations, batteries, parts and components, and other related support infrastructure.
A set of non-fiscal incentives will also be applicable for a duration of eight years for EV users, manufacturers and importers, Gatchalian said.
The measure is the 11th energy-related law introduced by the re-electionist senator since he became a member of the Senate in 2016. (ai/mtvn)