It’s a pretty exciting time for vehicle electrification in the country. As of April 15, 2022, Republic Act (RA) 11697 otherwise (loosely) known as the PH Electric Vehicle Act has lapsed into lapsed. By “lapsed”, we mean to say that despite having no signature from the President, it has exceeded the prescription period thereby allowing its passage into actual law.
But what does this new law have in store for the local automotive industry?
Under RA 11697, a Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) will serve as the backbone on which a national development plan for the electric vehicle (EV) industry will be based. In and under CREVI, the development, commercialization, and utilization of EVs across the country are mandated.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will be the primary agency to promote the adoption of EVs and the development of all needed infrastructure, such as charging stations, around the Philippines. According to the RA, the DOE “must promulgate ‘uniform and streamlines’ rules and regulations on the use and maintenance of charging stations and related equipment”. This will also include the production, importation, and sale of electric vehicles.
Of course, the DOE is not in on this alone. Within the next couple of months, several different government agencies are set to convene and agree on the measures that will be set up under CREVI and RA 11697 as a whole. These agencies will involve the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Some stipulations in the PH Electric Vehicle Act (Law) already include corporate and government fleets being mandated to have a 5% EV share. Buildings and complexes that will be constructed hereon are also mandated to allot 5% of their parking spaces specifically for EVs. Current fuel stations will also have to make a dedicated space for the installation and use of charging stations.
But going back, what’s more important to look at is incentivization. Concerning the sales and purchasing EVs, the TRAIN law pretty much nerfed any possible, significant, tax exemptions. Quite recently this was received as discouraging, and even more so as the paltry tax break may be done away with to protect local manufacturers, according to the DTI. That’s for the newer and incoming EVs.
In the PH Electric Vehicle Act, those who already own such vehicles, and those who (still) do plan on importing them, there are a few good reasons for them to stay and do so, respectively. Current EV owners can enjoy the following breaks:
- Fees covering the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) motor vehicle user’s charge, vehicle registration, and inspection fees get a 30% discount for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and 15% discount for hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs)
- Priority registration and renewal, plus a special type of vehicle plate will also be provided by the LTO
- Exemption from the Coding Scheme or the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) of the MMDA and all LGUs
- Faster processing by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for public utility vehicle operators
- Attractive financial packages, preferential interest rates, and affordable payment schemes on consumer loans for the acquisition of EVs have been asked of banks to provide to interested buyers
Also part of RA 11697 is that for EV manufacturers and importers, their employees will get training programs on the assembly, use, maintenance, and repair of EVs care of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The importation of parts and components for the manufacturing, assembly, and repair of EVs will also be expedited by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
For now, there’s still a lot to wait for and hope for. What’s for sure is that with the passage of the PH Electric Vehicle Act into law, we’re bound to see and hear more talks about vehicle electrification in the coming months. Who knows? Maybe they’ll have to revisit other existing provisions like the TRAIN law to make EVs EVen more attractive and affordable for everyone.
We’re all waiting, Philippines. Make RA 11697 count.