DTI, Unido to mount $3.8-M project to aid EV deployment in key cities

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido), will launch a $3.8-million e-mobility project, which they said would enable the Philippines to deploy electric vehicles (EVs) to lead cities. 

At the 1st SGV Tax Symposium on Friday, DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the $3.8-million project “would provide technical assistance to both national and local government units in order for us to create the necessary EV policy environment and ecosystem.” 

 Aldaba said creating a necessary EV policy environment would pave the way for the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to lead cities in the country. She listed these lead cities as Baguio, Davao, General Santos, Clark and Subic.

“The mayors of these different cities have already signified their commitment to be our partners in implementing this particular project,” said Aldaba. 

During the event, the Trade undersecretary also disclosed that the technical assistance from the e-mobility project will take effect from 2022 to 2027.

The project will include e-trikes, e-jeepneys, e-buses and other electric vehicles depending on the transportation plan for each area. 

She stressed the importance of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), adding that the Trade department aims to build or implement another program similar to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, which is the Electric Vehicle Incentive Strategy (EVIS). 

The incentive strategy for electric vehicles aims to narrow the cost gap between EVs and traditional motor vehicles and enable the shift of the local traditional motor vehicle industry to EVs.

 Aldaba’s presentation at the event indicated that the EVIS also aims to provide time-bound, targeted, performance-based, and transparent fiscal and non-fiscal support.  

Another objective of the incentive strategy for electric vehicles is to set local production targets to be achieved within eight years from the promulgation of the EV incentive strategy. 

 The CARS program, a government stimulus program aimed at raising local vehicle manufacturing to expand the country’s auto parts making capabilities, is also time-bound and performance-based. 

 In June, DTI said it is targeting to implement the incentives strategy for electric vehicles by early next year. According to Aldaba, DTI initially aimed to provide a total of P83-billion fiscal support for EVs. 

 However, the Trade undersecretary told the BusinessMirror two months ago that the agency is “recalibrating” the figure because DTI is reviewing assumptions that it used in estimating demand for EV. This, especially given the pandemic and changes in consumer behavior and other developments along with the assumptions used in estimating fiscal support. 

 Aldaba earlier said there are currently income-based incentives like income tax holiday and duty or tax-free importation of capital equipment and raw materials and other fiscal incentives available to EV and EV parts manufacturing and charging facilities through the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law.