The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) supports all traffic management schemes being raised by the Duterte administration, including the car reduction measures.
"All efforts regarding traffic management, we support, and we’re even willing to provide input to all these measures that government is taking right now without sacrificing customers’ increasing demand for mobility," said CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez.
Among the measures being looked at is double number-coding schemes, 'no garage, no car' policy on sales, and phase out of older vehicles.
Gutierrez noted, the phase-out or "end-of-life" policy has already been implemented on buses, "so it’s a matter of time that they will also apply it to commercial vehicles and passenger cars."
Though the 93% of the budget requested by Department of Transportation is earmarked for the improvement of railways systems in Metro Manila, Gutierrez is bullish that car ownership will still be high on people's purchase list.
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"It is still a dream, yes. In fact, it is [among] the aspirations of many of our customers, and we see that continue even in the next six years or so," he said.
He also does not believe that the rise of ride-sharing or hailing mobile applications has dampened the car manufacturing industry.
"In fact, it helps the industry because people would tend to appreciate use of cars, the convenience and how to enjoy the benefits of having a car. That will eventually translate to the good of the industry as a whole," he said.
Over 300,000 automobiles were sold in 2015, according to Gutierrez, and the target for 2016 is set at over 370,000 cars, which is 20% higher than the original target due to the strong performance of the industry.
The car ownership ratio in the Philippines, he also noted, is at 32 per 1,000, which actually trails its neighboring countries'.
"In Thailand, it’s already 100 plus, [and so is in] Malaysia. [At] 32 over 1,000, we still have the potential to increase like other countries. We see that the industry will continue to grow," he said.
The growth they perceive is not Manila-centric and but in the peripheries, and will coincide with the government's plan for growth, infrastructure, and traffic management, said Gutierrez.
Metro Manila motorists in recent years have had to learn to deal with horrendous traffic jams, and the estimated daily losses due to the gridlocks have now reached at least P2.4 billion a day.
Gutierrez maintained, the chamber is open to give inputs and has been the government's partner in coming up with regulations "not only to address traffic problems, but in the industry as a whole."
IMPROVING MANUFACTURING SECTOR
Gutierrez said, the Philippines must have consistent policy implementation and direction to increase investor confidence in the country.
Currently in place is the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS), which, he explained, aims to strengthen and maintain viability of local manufacturing to source more products locally.
The program, he added, is a catalyst, but "we have to have a strong policy, clear policy on the manufacturing sector, especially in the automotive industry."
"I think it's consistent policy implementation and clear policy direction [that are necessary] so that investors would have that confidence to invest in the Philippines," he said.
CAMPI is also lobbying for government to provide more incentives for hybrid cars and alternatives, which he said is priced with a tariff rate of 30%.
"We have new Congress now so we'll continue with our efforts to come up with legislation that will encourage not only manufacturing but also bringing in of new technologies," he said.
From the 14th to 18th of September, CAMPI will be staging its 6th Philippine International Motor Show where 17 top automotive brands are expected to participate and showcase the latest technology, like hybrid cars and electric vehicles.