ELECTRIC VEHICLES PARTNERSHIP. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba answers questions during the SGV tax symposium at Raffles Makati in Makati City Friday (Aug. 19, 2022). She said DTI and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization will launch a USD3.8-million E-mobility Project to stimulate the country's e-vehicle sector. (Screenshot from the streaming of SGV tax symposium)

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are partnering to deploy electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in five major cities in the country from 2022 to 2027.
 
During the SGV tax symposium in Makati City Friday, DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said this initiative is part of the USD3.8-million DTI-UNIDO E-mobility Project.
 
Aldaba said the lead cities for the e-mobility project include Baguio City, Davao City, General Santos, Clark Freeport, and Subic Freeport.
 
“The mayors of these different cities have already signified their commitment to be our partners in implementing this particular project,” she said.
 
She added the partnership with UNIDO will also provide technical assistance to both national and local government units to create the necessary e-vehicle policy environment and ecosystem for them.
 
With the enactment of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) into law, Aldaba said the government is hopeful that it will stimulate the expansion of e-vehicle industry in the country, which include local manufacturing of e-vehicles and components, production of e-vehicle batteries and establishment of charging stations, and usage of e-vehicles across the country.
 
Through the EVIDA, the DTI will be leading the crafting of the Electric Vehicle Incentive Strategy, which Aldaba said would be a similar program to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program. 
 
Started in 2015, the CARS Program provides fiscal incentives to car manufacturers that will commit to sell at least 200,000 units of automotive vehicles, of which majority of the components are locally produced.
 
This subsidy program worth over USD570 million aims to jumpstart vehicle assembly and parts production in the country to generate employment, attract investments, build domestic scale, and develop the Philippines into a regional auto manufacturing hub.
 
Japanese carmakers Toyota and Mitsubishi have applied for the tax perks under the CARS Program, as they committed to locally assemble 200,000 and 230,000 units, respectively.
 
The companies have invested PHP9.26 billion under the CARS Program.
 
The DTI aims to replicate or exceed the gains in investments, jobs, and industry development under the CARS Program for the e-vehicle industry.
 
“We’re really serious in terms of building the EV industry in the country. We're lagging behind. We lag behind in terms of the ICE (internal combustion engine) but this time around, we really want this right,” Aldaba said. (PNA)