A university professor has backed the idea to incentivize the use of electric vehicles (EVs) which can help mainstream its usage in the country.
Abigail Arillaga, a chemist, said that it will be harder to shift to EVs unless the government rolls out monetary incentives for its use along with an awareness campaign of its benefits and comprehensive research on its effectiveness.
According to her, the adoption of EVs may have pros and cons, but its introduction to the country can help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses that are harmful to the environment.
She added that while EVs are being explored, the shift to the new mode of transport should be gradual as the country still relies on non-renewable energy sources.
"In the Philippines, sad to say kung hindi natin mai-incentivize (if we cannot incentivize), it will be difficult to persuade others to patronize this product over the traditional one or over the other," Arilaga said.
"It can be difficult to shift to EVs especially if you already have a motorcycle. First of all due to monetary reasons unless there are incentives or a sector that will be there to take charge of this," she added.
Different groups have been pushing for the shift to electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions in the country as transport is the main source of air pollution and other issues relating to global warming.
In relation to this, the government in January released Executive Order No. 12 series of 2023 which aims to lower the tariff rates for electric vehicles and their components to help mainstream EV usage in the country and help reduce carbon emissions.
EO12 aims to complement the Republic Act No. 11697 or the law Providing for the Development of the Electric Vehicle Industry in the country.
While the move was earlier praised for promoting a sustainable environment, it did not cover electric motorcycles and other two-wheeled electric vehicles. To date, e-motorcycles and other two-wheel electric vehicles are still subject to a 30 percent import duty.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. has earlier stated that he believes that two-wheeled should be included in tax breaks.
"Yes I think it should be included as these tricycles and motorbikes are common modes of transport in many areas," he said in a text message to Manila Bulletin.
The transportation sector, alone, in the country, is responsible for emitting 31.54 million tons of carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change.
As stated by IQAir, an air quality technology company, the rate of PM2.5 pollutants in Manila is twice the World Health Organization's (WHO) annual air quality guideline value.
WHO stated that achieving the right air quality guideline value is vital to minimize the health risk from pollutant exposure.
The country aims to go full-on electric vehicles by 2040. It is set to limit the sale of internal engine combustion cars as part of its comprehensive plan to transition to what environmentalists foresee as ‘green traffic,’ or a decarbonized road network in the country.