House panel okays bill promoting the use of electronic vehicles

Published May 12, 2021, 10:36 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The House Committee on Energy on Wednesday, May 12 approved the draft substitute bill on the proposed “Electric Vehicles Act” that seeks to promote the use of e-vehicles in the Philippines.

The House energy panel, together with the House Committees on Ecology and Transportation, approved the draft substitute bill on House Bills No. 444, 738, 1432, 2020, 4075, 4179, 4356, 4366, 4391, 4962, 6604, 7298, 7299, 7317 and 7607.

The measure primarily seeks the establishment of a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the use of electric vehicles (EVs), the development of electric vehicles industry and appropriating funds for the program.

The measure would be submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Ways and Means for their approval.

Bataan Representative Jose Enrique “Joet” S. Garcia III, one of the authors of the bill, said he hopes that the Department of Finance (DOF) would support the measure.

“Hopefully, pumayag ang DOF (the DOF would agree to this),” Garcia quipped during the online hearing led by Committee on Energy chief and Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Mikey” M. Arroyo.

Muntinlupa Representative Rufino Biazon, also one of the authors of the bill, said he hopes to see the measure become a law under the leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

The proposed Electric Vehicles Act seeks to promote the manufacture, assembly, installation, research and development, maintenance, trade and utilization of EVs, parts and components, charging stations and related support infrastructure.

Antique Representative Loren Legarda, one of the authors of the bill, said the bill primarily promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles as substantial strategy to contribute to pollution management.

Legarda also stressed that the bill promotes “clean development for healthier lives and better economic productivity” by encouraging the transition to hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles by providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to manufacturers, motorists and operators who opt to convert their vehicles to electric or hybrid.

The bill also seeks to establish the Electric Vehicles Board (EVB), which shall oversee the implementation of the EV transportation program once it becomes a law.

Its counterpart bill in the Senate, the “Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act” or Senate Bill No. 1382—which is a consolidation of seven different versions filed by Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Francis Pangilinan, Manny Pacquiao, Grace Poe, and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III—is now pending on second reading.