A BILL establishing government support for the electric vehicle (EV) industry will send a signal to consumers and potential investors that such technology is here to stay and may lead to the Philippines becoming an export base for EV products, an industry association said.

Edmund A. Araga, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, said in an e-mail that the approval of the measure in the House of Representatives “would leave a mark that the government is fully supporting the industry and its consumers… in promoting the use of e-vehicles.”

Legislators approved House Bill 10213 or the proposed Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act on third and final reading Sept. 28.

The bill would require government agencies and businesses that maintain and operate 20 or more motor vehicles to have 10% of their fleets consist of EVs.

It also establishes tax incentives for EV manufacturers, entities maintaining charging stations, and research and development centers.

Electric vehicles, charging stations, and materials for their assembly will also be exempt from customs duties and value-added tax for five years from the effectivity of the proposed law.

The measure also requires establishments with 20 or more designated parking slots to dedicate 5% of their space for the use of EVs and to provide charging points.

Mr. Araga said that the tax incentives could encourage manufacturers of EV parts to establish operations and ramp up production in the country. 

“Investors might consider the Philippine market as their new ground in capitalizing on the expertise of skilled Filipinos which are capable to export products to our other countries,” he said.

Mr. Araga also said that government regulation would help “cost-conscious” Filipinos to come around to the benefits and savings of using EVs.

“(Local adoption) would be possible as long as government sectors are supportive and implement necessary regulations,” he said.

Philippine Institute for Development Studies Supervising Research Specialist Maureen D. Rosellon said in July that shortcomings in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and manufacturing technology have left the Philippines behind in the regional competition for trade and investment.

The Senate approved its counterpart measure on May 31 and has formed a bicameral committee to harmonize the two chambers’ bills. — Russell Louis C. Ku