Image via Ivan Radic/CC BY 2.0

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is seeking to establish the Philippines as a production hub for battery manufacturing for electric vehicles (EV), to tap the country’s mineral reserves.

“Aside from our commitment to combat climate change through the use of EVs, the DTI also aims to aggressively position the Philippines in the battery segment of the global market,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said during his speech at the lease signing ceremony between Envirotech Vehicles and Berthaphil in Taguig City on March 28.

“Given the presence of abundant nickel and cobalt reserves, the Philippine government is consistently promoting the country as a potential manufacturing hub for battery production,” he added.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau estimates that the value of metallic output rose 31.7% to P238.05 billion in 2022 as production rose.

According to Mr. Pascual, the EV industry is vital in generating more investment and employment.

“The growth and development of the EV industry is crucial in making green investments and jobs happen in the Philippines as we aim to generate stable, high-quality, and better-paying jobs for Filipinos, while achieving shared prosperity for all,” Mr. Pascual said.

“We seek to create an end-to-end value chain from the mining and processing of green metals to the local manufacture of batteries, charging stations or units, and EVs,” he added.

Under the EV Industry Development Act, the government and private sector are required to maintain vehicle fleets with EVs accounting for 5%.

The DTI will also recommend an EV incentive strategy for the approval of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, akin to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, to create an enabling business environment for the EV industry.

The CARS program, signed in 2015, seeks to improve domestic vehicle manufacturing by providing incentives. The program participants are Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave