A LAW regulating the electric vehicle (EV) sector is expected to be ready by the fourth quarter, including provisions outlining how the industry is to be promoted, the chair of Senate energy panel said on Wednesday, pointing out that industry stakeholders are supportive of the proposed legislation.

“Generally, positive ‘yung support ng stakeholders and government agencies (the stakeholders and government agencies received it positively). I didn’t hear any opposition,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian told reporters on Wednesday after a hearing to discuss Senate Bill No. 174 or The Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act.

“All of them support the concept of the bill. Of course, DoF (Department of Finance) will be hesitant in supporting any fiscal incentives that will run counter to TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) and also to the TRABAHO Law (Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities) bill,” he added.

SB 174 is one of Mr. Gatchalian’s 10 priority bills and the first bill to be tackled by the Senate Committee on Energy in the 18th Congress.

He said the discussions on EV adoption are timely since the bill is aligned with the Duterte administration’s direction toward the promotion of “environmentally-clean and ecologically-safe energy sources in addressing the country’s energy needs.”

The Senate bill seeks to address the challenges in developing the electric vehicle industry by empowering the Department of Energy to create an “electric vehicle road map” and distribution utilities to draft a charging infrastructure development plan.

Mr. Gatchalian said the proposed measure aims to address the entire ecosystem of e-vehicles, including one of the most important components: the charging stations.

The measure will also require private and public buildings and establishments to have dedicated parking slots with charging stations, installed by charging station service providers, and for fuel stations to have a dedicated space for charging.

It also expands non-fiscal incentives, including exemption from number coding and prioritization in registration, and institutionalizes time-bound fiscal incentives for manufacturers and importers of electric vehicles.

“We can expect within the fourth quarter kaya nating ma-aprobahan ang bill na ‘to (We can expect within the fourth quarter to be able to approve this bill,” Mr. Gatchalian said, adding that his committee is working closely with his counterpart at the House of Representatives. — Victor V. Saulon