NEDA Board OKs tariff rate modification on EVs, key infra projects

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 16, 2024, 1:16 pm Updated on May 16, 2024, 5:43 pm

MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., recently approved the tariff rate modification of electric vehicles.

In a statement on Thursday, the NEDA said the Board, during a meeting on May 15, approved the recommendations of the Committee on Tariff and Related Matters (CTRM) based on the review of Executive Order (EO) 12 (s. 2023), which temporarily modified the rates of import duty on electric vehicles (EVs), their parts, and components.

The Board agreed to maintain the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rate at zero until 2028 on 34 tariff lines of battery electric vehicles currently covered under EO 12.

The tariff for e-motorcycles, e-bicycles, and nickel metal hydride accumulators was also reduced to zero until 2028.

The expansion in the coverage of EO 12 also includes other types of EVs, such as battery e-tricycles and quadricycles; battery, hybrid EV (HEV) and plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) jeepneys/buses; and HEV and PHEV cars and trucks; as well as completely knocked down EVs for all types of vehicles.

“Executive Order No. 12 is designed to stimulate the electric vehicle (EV) market in the country, support the transition to emerging technologies, reduce our transport system’s reliance on fossil fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions attributed to road transport," NEDA Secretary and vice chairperson of the Board Arsenio Balisacan said.

"By encouraging consumers to adopt EVs, we are promoting a cleaner, more resilient, and more environmentally friendly transportation alternative,” he added.

The CTRM was instructed to conduct an annual review of the rates to ensure timeliness, applicability, and impact on the sectors concerned due to the modification in the duties of EVs.

Aside from the modified tariff on EVs, the NEDA Board also approved several programs, projects, and policies.

One of these is the Facility for Accelerating Studies for Infrastructure, or FAST-Infra, Project.

The PHP2.75-billion FAST-Infra project will provide fund support in formulating high-quality transportation master plans and developing a pipeline of big-ticket transportation projects that would strengthen both national and regional connectivity.

The NEDA Board also approved the Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools Project which aims to address the urgent physical recovery needs of schools affected by natural disasters between 2019 and 2023.

The project includes the repair, rehabilitation, retrofitting, and reconstruction of damaged school facilities outside Metro Manila.

With implementation scheduled from 2024 to 2029, the project is expected to benefit 13,101 classrooms across 1,282 schools nationwide, equivalent to 741,038 students.

The NEDA Board also greenlighted the extension of the implementation period from Jan. 1, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2027 and loan validity from Jan. 1, 2025 to Dec. 31, 2027 for the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling Project.

With a total project cost of PHP24.62 billion, the project which will be implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform, aims to improve land tenure security and stabilize the property rights of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

As of December 2023, a total of 78,657 e-titles covering 105,691 hectares have been registered to 85,665 agrarian reform beneficiaries, of which 54,698 registered e-titles covering 72,996 hectares have been distributed to 59,375 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Also included in the list of approved projects is the PHP8.41-billion Light Rail Transit Line East Extension Project.

The project involves the construction of additional two stations—the Marikina and Antipolo stations.

While this project is already completed and is currently in full operation, the request for an extension in the implementation period intends to facilitate full disbursement to project contractors and consultants and ensure the quality of the project until the end of its defects liability period in December 2024.

“This series of approvals by the NEDA Board marks a significant step towards the country’s social and economic transformation. As the nation moves forward, the decisions made today will play a crucial role in shaping a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Philippines,” said Balisacan.

For his part, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual welcomed the decision of the NEDA Board to extend and expand EO 12.

"This move to maintain zero tariffs on a wider range of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid EVs until 2028 aligns with our country's commitment to green transition and promotes the adoption of eco-friendly transportation," Pascual said.

"By making EVs and hybrid EVs more accessible and affordable, the government not only fosters sustainable mobility but also contributes to cleaner air and a healthier environment," the trade chief added. (PNA)