Suspension of import duties on EVs will make the units affordable – group

Blue-roofed electric auto rickshaw rides past a construction site in Bengaluru, India on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. (File photo from AP /Aijaz Rahi)

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s approval to include two and three-wheeled electric vehicles (EVs) in government tax incentives will make electric-powered vehicles more accessible to the public, the Stratbase Institute said on Thursday.

Research organization Stratbase was referring to Executive Order 12, which temporarily suspended the collection of import duties on electric vehicles, their parts, and their components.

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“We welcome the inclusion of e-motorcycles in the list of electric vehicles given temporary import tax breaks to accelerate the shift to green transportation,” said Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit, president of the Stratbase Institute, in a statement.

“It is a responsive policy that will make electric-powered vehicles more accessible to the vast majority of the riding public who need to make daily commutes to work or mobility for their livelihood activities,” he noted.

Manhit also mentioned that more Filipinos choose motorcycles as a mode of transportation due to traffic and the dire condition of public transportation.

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Stratbase said motorcycles remain the most popular vehicle type in the country, with 7.8 million registered vehicles as of 2022.

“Now that the policy gap of EO 12 has been resolved, the extensive use of EVs will be a major factor in reducing carbon emissions and pollutants that pose serious health risks and aggravates global warming,” Manhit said.

Meanwhile, CitizenWatch Philippines co-convenor Christopher Belmonte urged the government to give incentives to the building of a nationwide network of EV charging stations in public and private places.

“Government and the private sector can work together to develop an EV charging infrastructure that can be accessed in parking spaces and even in people’s residences,” said Belmonte in the statement.

“The participation of distribution utilities will be critical in upgrading the country’s power infrastructure to be EV ready,” he added.

He also believes more Filipinos will be encouraged to shift to EVs if they are made more affordable.