DTI wants absolute zero tariff on electric vehicles

Just recently, RA 11697 or the PH Electric Vehicle Act has become law. With it, we can hope that electric vehicles or EVs can and will be made mainstream in the country. The response to the act-become-law has so far been lackluster. Whether it’s for a lack of interest or just being less than hopeful, it seems EVs are still in limbo. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to help change this, though.

As we speak, the DTI is continuing its push to eliminate all import tax duties on battery electric vehicles (BEV). They still have a pending proposal with the Tariff Commission, in fact. This is in line with another report we published on how both the DTI and NEDA are pushing for zero tariffs on EVs.

How much of the tariff is to be removed?

What the DTI aims for is to totally remove the current 30% tariff on BEVs. This will make the vehicles more accessible to the masses. There is a catch to their proposal, though. It’s only meant to hold in place for five years. Curious, but this may also be a sort of allowance that the DTI is providing for manufacturers. If the zero-tax scheme indeed results in greater sales, then manufacturers might consider producing the same types of vehicles locally.

Yesterday, SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City launched their EV charging stations. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez was present at the event and furthered that the stand of the agency remains firm.

“We need to promote EVs, and the way to promote it is to encourage their use. How will you encourage the use of EVs if they are expensive? This is one of the immediate ways that we think can be done.” – Ramon Lopez, DTI Secretary

It’s just a waiting game as to how the Tariff Commission responds to both the DTI‘s and NEDA’s proposal. And they will have to respond by May 23, 2022, before Congress convenes. If this time elapses, a simple signature from the President won’t be all that’s needed, and instead, a whole new law will have to be made to do away with the BEV taxes.

Will we see the normalization of EVs on PH roads? We hope so.

Mikko Juangco
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