Educator pushes for wider coverage of tax breaks for e-vehicles to spur employment
MANILA, Philippines — An educator in the field of sociology and political science said on Monday the government must expand the coverage of tariff breaks for electric vehicles (EVs) to make it a real game changer in the transport and commuting sector.
Professor Louie Montemar, who is also a Fellow for Education of the Stratbase ADR Institute, urged the government to widen the range of EVs that are covered by the tariff break so that people will be encouraged to use EVs and help lessen air pollution, at the same time spur employment opportunities.
As per the data gathered by the World Health Organization, 25 percent of the Philippines urban areas are exposed to unhealthy air of PM2.5 concentration, which is at least five times more than a global recommendation.
In his published opinion, Montemar said that the suspension of tariff for EVs and its components must be financially inclusive as the exclusion of the two and three-wheeled vehicles under Executive Order No. 12 discriminates the working class who can only afford motorcycles.
“Given the soaring prices of gasoline, electric vehicles are becoming an even more attractive option for economically disadvantaged Filipinos,” Montemar said.
The sociologist reiterated that two-wheeled vehicles are work enablers for the financially unstable Filipinos who are commuting to school or work and for those who use it on their jobs like deliveries.
According to the Land Transportation Office, almost 8 million units of motorcycles have been recorded in their agency. Motorcycles are also the most favored mode of transportation of motorists in the country, both in the urban center and rural areas
Earlier this year, the government passed EO 12 series of 2023, which seeks to suspend the tariff for EVs and its components from 5 to 30 percent to zero percent. This is, however, with the exemption of electric motorcycles which are still subject to 30 percent import duty.
Montemar also stated that if the coverage of EO12 will be expanded, it will help enhance the employment rate of the country.
This was initially supported by various stakeholders such as House Deputy Speaker and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines President, Rep. Raymond Mendoza who said that the e-vehicle industry can slash the rate of carbon emissions of the country and at the same time, generate more jobs for Filipinos.
The professor insists that the success stories of local producers of e-motorcycles creating green jobs for local communities can be replicated to boost local employment.
“There is no reason to doubt that these success stories could be replicated. Coupled with a program to support the local industry and bold entrepreneurs and innovators to create and maintain e-vehicles,” he reiterated.
Transport stakeholders are also urging the government to review the EO and make it more inclusive by including e-motorcycles.
The EO 12 is also one of the solutions of the country to mitigate the effects of climate change by cutting down the rate of carbon emissions caused by the transportation system of the country.