The Department of Energy (DOE) has secured an extension of the loan and release for the rest of the 3,000 electric tricycles (e-trike) under the government’s joint project with Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The agency was supposed to distribute the e-trikes this month but the ADB loan extension allowed the roll out of units to be extended until May 2019, DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido said.
The loan extension allows the agency to continue deploying e-trike units to local government units (LGUs), Pulido said.
“There’s a period when you can draw from the funds of ADB, and that was supposed to be until June 30, 2018. If it’s not extended, then we have a problem because we won’t be able to pay the supplier because that’s where the fund comes from, it’s from the loan from ADB. So we had to ask for an extension because we needed more time to finish the documentation for the commitments to the LGU,” the DOE official said.
The DOE and ADB were both the signatories in the loan agreement, which totals to $504 million or roughly P21.67 billion. The agreement covers the delivery of 100,000 e-trike units to local government units (LGUs) by end-2017.
The initial roll-out included 3,000 e-trikes, but the steep price point per unit and insufficient charging stations resulted in no takers for the units.
To save the government from overspending and maintain the electric vehicle industry’s progress from non-economical projects, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi decided to decrease the loan and ordered to stop production for the rest of the 10,000 e-trikes
The existing e-trikes will instead be donated to LGUs to promote the transition to cleaner public utility vehicles (PUVs).
Around 1,200 are committed for distribution to several LGUs out of the 3, 000 e-trikes ready for release.
“Right now, the total committed is 1,200. There’s no physical distribution yet but they’re all committed, with memoranda of agreement (MOA) already signed. We have the remaining 1,800 to commit,” Pulido said.
The DOF and ADB have established guidelines to determine which LGUs are eligible to receive e-trike donations.
Eligible LGUs include those that have been hit by natural or man-made disasters; those that have historical and/or tourism significance; those that have existing ordinances supporting electric vehicles; those that have existing electric vehicles in their locality; those with poor air quality due to tricycle emissions; and those that will facilitate the set up of charging infrastructure and demonstrated plan to support the project.
The DOE signed a memorandum of understanding with Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) earlier this year, to donate 200 e-trikes.
TFBM, which was established under Administrative Order (AO) No. 3 issued by President Duterte on June 28, 2017, is a group of different government agencies tasked to facilitate the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction of Marawi City.
Cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and the Municipality of Pateros also signed memoranda of agreement (MOA) with the agency for 900 e-trikes.