The bill outlining the government’s policy on the regulation and development of electric vehicles (EV) in the country is now officially a law, as Republic Act (RA) 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act lapsed into law on Good Friday (April 15).
RA 11697 specifically aims to promote the industry as a “feasible mode of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.” It also governs “the manufacture, assembly, importation, construction, installation, maintenance, trade and utilization, research and development, and regulation of electric vehicles.”
The law was approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives last year, but was only received by the Office of the President in mid-March. Under Section 27 (1) of the Constitution, a bill sent to the President for approval automatically becomes law no action is taken within 30 days of receipt.
RA 11697 further states that various industries like cargo logistics, food delivery companies, tour agencies, hotels, power utilities, and water utilities are required to have a five percent EV quota for their vehicle fleets, whether owned or leased, under a timeline that will be determined by the industry road map.
The technical working group (TWG) will be led by the Department of Energy, which will spearhead the EV adoption campaign and the rollout of charging stations. Representatives from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry (DTI), and Transportation; as well as the National Economic and Development Authority will also sit as TWG members.
The roadmap will include an annual work plan to “accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of EVs” as well as the preferential parking spaces and charging stations for EVs. As such, establishments with 20 or more designated slots are required to convert and dedicate five percent of their space for EV parking, as well as providing charging points.
Earlier, Ayala-led AC Motors stressed the need for government support in bringing EVs to the domestic market, while Lopez-led firms First Philippine Holdings and subsidiary First Gen have begun using EVs in their operations.
On the part of the government, the DTI is looking to impose zero tariffs on EV imports, while the DOE has endorsed to the Board of Investments a Php2.5 billion investment by Century Peak Energy Corporation to bring in 20,000 EVs into the country and eventually build 5,000 EV charging stations.