Think-tank supports amending law to make owning electric vehicles easier | Inquirer News

Think-tank supports amending law to make owning electric vehicles easier

/ 01:05 AM January 25, 2024

The government was urged to continue working with "like-minded states" in addressing issues in the West Philippine Sea in 2024, an international research organization said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Dindo Manhit, shown here at a 2020 forum, is the founder and president of Stratbase ADR Institute. (Photo from the Facebook page of Stratbase ADR Institute)

MANILA, Philippines — Stratbase ADR Institute supports amending provisions in the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) to ensure that it would be easier for Filipinos to own electric vehicles (EVs), the think tank said in a statement on Tuesday.

The particular amendments the group supports were introduced under House Bill No. 9573, authored by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, which will reduce tariff rates for fully-built EV units to zero percent.


The bill will cover four-wheeled vehicles, electric motorcycles, and others as Section 4 of EVIDA — where EVs are defined — would also be amended.


“We have to create opportunities for more Filipinos to live sustainably with affordable electric vehicles,” Stratbase president and professor Dindo Manhit said.

“We fully support the amendments proposed by HB 9573 specifically: to expand the definition of EVs to include two-, three-, and four-wheeled vehicles or such other vehicles with at least one electric drive for vehicle propulsion which may include a BEV, a hybrid electric vehicle, light electric vehicle, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – and to make EVs more accessible, a zero percent tariff rate on the importation of completely built electric vehicles,” he added.

Making EVs more accessible

The bill, which Salceda filed on Nov. 11, 2023, is still pending with the House Committee on Ways and Means, which Salceda also heads.

According to Manhit, EVIDA is a laudable law as it has increased sales of EVs, which are supposedly more environment-friendly than vehicles with internal combustion engines, which produce fumes as a byproduct of creating power.

The amendments introduced by Salceda would make EVs more accessible, as the definition would no longer restrict EVs to four-wheeled vehicles.

“This is all laudable, and it tells us that more Filipinos are willing to do the environmentally right thing while addressing their transportation and mobility needs,” Manhit said.


“Imagine this. Some 60% of electric vehicles are two-wheeled. This means that most electric vehicles do not even benefit from tax incentives granted by law.”

Manhit believes this would help many Filipino households as two-wheeled electric vehicles are more affordable than four-wheeled EVs or electric cars.

“Given this, more and more Filipinos, given the worsening traffic situation and the soaring fuel prices, could now consider buying their own two-wheeled electric vehicles that are environmentally sustainable, having zero emissions,” he said.

“As the Philippines transitions to meet commitments to reduce fossil fuel emissions in the Paris Agreement, it is expected that our policy leaders may be pressured by conventional vehicle manufacturers to delay the shift to EVs. We urge our legislators to be steadfast and accelerate policy reforms that will align with the global urgency to mitigate the looming planetary climate crisis,” he added.

Safety concerns

While several enthusiasts of internal combustion vehicles — and even some environmentalists — contest whether EVs are really environment-friendly, another point of contention regarding three or two-wheeled EVs is safety.

READ: Why electric cars are losing their aura

On social media, it has been a common occurrence to see videos of motorists — owners of traditional four-wheeled vehicles and even motorcycle and bicycle riders — complaining about light EVs and e-bikes that are unregistered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and are driven by people without a driver’s license.

The chief complaint is often about how dangerous it is for such EVs to move through major thoroughfares, considering that they are slower and lighter than most vehicles.

Just last Jan. 18, the LTO said it was mulling the imposition of mandatory registration of EVs, particularly those running at less than 25 kilometers per hour (kph).

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Vehicles running at less than 25 kph are currently not yet required to register with the LTO.

TAGS: Dindo Manhit, Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, electric vehicles, Joey Salceda, Stratbase ADR Institute

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