THE American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (AmCham) said a strong domestic market may persuade electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to set up operations here.
“You need to have the right investment climate (and) you need to have the right incentives. We gave them the incentives, now then we’ve got to give them the market,” Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of AmCham, told reporters last week.
“Nobody is going into the market if they don’t have somebody buying the product. So, the big thing is to push the market,” he added.
Incentives for EVs are laid out in Republic Act No. 11697, also known as the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA).
Chapter VI of the EVIDA law requires the government to providing fiscal incentives, non-fiscal incentives, and financial assistance to help the industry and market develop.
The law authorizes incentives under the Tax Reform For Acceleration and Inclusion to eligible parties, including eight years of duty exemptions for registered participants importing charging stations in completely built unit form.
An Executive Order also modified tariffs on EVs, temporarily reducing tariffs on completely built-up EV units to 0 for five years and on certain parts and components of EVs to 1%.
“We advocated for the passing of the EV bill and we were thrilled when we got it. (However), we wanted motorcycles and other areas included and we also wanted hybrid EVs (HEVs) in it, which I think still should be in there,” he said.
He said that inclusion of HEVs will push the development of the Philippine EV market.
“Right now… you’ll see a lot of EV charging stations and not enough EVs. So, we really need to push now to get more and I’d love to see manufacturing of EVs here in the Philippines. We passed the bill, so we should take advantage of it,” he added.
Asked about the government’s plans to subsidize EV buyers, he said: “Most of the time AmCham doesn’t… support subsidies because once you take them away, it hurts. Once you give them, it’s hard to take them away.”
“But that kind of incentive will be helpful… anything we can do to get air polluting cars off the street or air polluting jeepneys off the streets is a plus. And those subsidies will help,” he added.
On Oct. 20, the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) launched the Electric Vehicle Incentives Scheme (EVIS) whichhas a target of four million locally manufactured EVs on the roads within 10 years.
The EVIS will provide incentives to both the supply side through fiscal incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Law, and on the demand side through a consumer subsidy program.
The government will provide consumers direct financial rebates or discounts ranging from P10,000 to P500,000 when they purchase EVs.
Currently, EVIDA allows owners of battery electric vehicles, or those powered solely by an electric battery, to enjoy a 30% discount on the motor vehicle user’s charge imposed by the Land Transportation Office, while owners of HEVs enjoy a 15% discount. — Justine Irish D. Tabile