PH can become SEAsia's manufacturing hub for e-vehicles

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 01 2014 10:19 AM | Updated as of Mar 01 2014 06:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines could become Southeast Asia’s hub for manufacturing electric vehicles once a measure providing incentives to manufacturers and sellers of alternative fuel vehicles is passed into law, an industry official said.

Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) president Ferdinand Raquelsantos told reporters on the sidelines of the 3rd Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit the passage of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle bill into law would help support the growth of the electric vehicle industry and could make the country its regional hub.

“We are hoping that the Office of the President would prioritize the bill,” he said.

The proposed measure gives tax breaks to importers, manufacturers and sellers of alternative fuel vehicles such as electric-powered cars and hybrid cars.

In particular, firms that would engage in the import, manufacture or sale of these alternative fuel vehicles would be exempt from the payment of excise tax and value-added tax for nine years.

The move is expected to result in lower prices and wider access of clean and green vehicles.

The proposed measure was approved on third and final reading by both the Senate and House of Representatives during the 15th Congress.

The bill has been reactivated for the current or the 16th Congress.

Raquelsantos said the proposed measure, which provides incentives to the industry, would allow it to grow.

“If the government will support the industry, we will be an electric vehicle hub. As ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration comes, we can export,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of interest (from electric vehicle firms). If we start producing and producing, we will be number one in the region and that is our objective,” he added.

For her part, Board of Investments (BOI) governor Lucita Reyes said the agency and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are willing to provide support to the electric vehicle industry.