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Incentive package being readied for EV makers, buyers, PUV operators

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is preparing a “comprehensive” package of incentives for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, vehicle buyers, and public utility vehicle (PUV) operators.

Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the DTI hopes to present a draft to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. within the year.

“These are still under discussion within DTI, but the next plan is to discuss them with other agencies like the Department of Finance,” Ms. Aldaba told reporters on the sidelines of a German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry forum.

“This time around, in the case of the EV sector, what we are proposing is a more comprehensive package of incentives that would provide fiscal and non-fiscal support to both the demand and supply sides, to both the manufacturers as well as to the consumers,” she added.

The proposed incentive package will be a CARS (Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy)-like program with a focus on domestic production of e-PUVs, Ms. Aldaba said.

“We would like to replicate it in the EV industry. But the focus would actually be on e-PUVs. And we see this, the focus on the commercial EV market, as an opportunity because, with the new EV technology, it would require fewer and simpler parts,” she said.

“Hence, it would be easier for the Philippines to develop and export its own vehicle model” as the process becomes simpler, she added.

The DTI is also proposing a consumer subsidy program that aims to stimulate demand for EVs. The subsidy program is being planned around P500,000 per PUV, P10,000 per two-wheeler, and P20,000 per three-wheeler.

“For the battery manufacturers, we’re looking at giving out support of something like 50% off the capital expenditure, excluding land, and a maximum of P3 billion (subsidy) per 2-gigawatt plant. We’re targeting five plants,” Ms. Aldaba said.

“You might think that this is a very ambitious program. I’m presenting this because I also want to hear feedback from all of you and because we still want to further refine this program before piloting it,” she added.

The proposed EV incentive scheme is expected to result in the manufacture of around 4 million EVs in the next 10 years, which will be mostly eTrikes, ePUVs, and eBuses.

The fiscal and non-fiscal support to consumers under the incentive scheme includes purchase subsidies in the form of direct financial rebates or discounts, tax credits, value-added tax exemption or reduction, and fuel cost savings through special electricity rates for EV charging.

The scheme also proposes incentives to homeowners who install EV charging infrastructure at their residences, trade-in bonuses, and subsidies for EV renters.