Concerns Raised Over Lack of Stakeholder Involvement in Review of Executive Order 12

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Concerns in the Electric Vehicle Industry in the Philippines

The mandatory review of Executive Order 12 (EO) 12 in Manila, Philippines has raised concerns among stakeholders in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. These stakeholders are worried because they have not been contacted by the government to submit their views or comments regarding the review process.

EO 12 aims to modify the tariff rates for certain types of EVs and their parts and components for a period of five years. The goal is to promote and mainstream green transportation in the country. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Chief, Arsenio Balisacan, previously stated that the Tariff Commission (TC) would conduct public hearings to carefully consider the views of all stakeholders.

However, industry players in the EV sector have expressed their confusion regarding the conduct of these public discussions. The TC has not yet released the details of the hearings to the intended participants, leaving them in the dark about the process.

Edmund Araga, the President of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, highlighted that NEDA has not reached out to his organization to solicit feedback or extend an invitation to participate in the public hearings. Araga mentioned that they were invited to be part of the review process back in 2022 when EO 12 was still being crafted. Unfortunately, they have not been included in the current review.

Araga emphasized the importance of considering the views and comments from stakeholders, especially in light of the current market conditions. It is crucial to take into account the perspectives of industry players to ensure the effectiveness and viability of any modifications to the tariff rates.

Similarly, Tim Vargas, a micromobility advocate and co-founder of Electric Kick Scooter Philippines, stated that NEDA has not reached out to their group either. Vargas mentioned that they have submitted a position paper to the agency outlining their proposed amendments for EO 12 but have yet to receive a formal reply.

EO 12 was enacted to complement the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act and create a thriving EV industry in the Philippines while also reducing carbon emissions in compliance with the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. The executive order includes tax breaks for EVs such as kick scooters, pocket motorcycles, and self-balancing cycles. However, two-wheeled electric vehicles are still subject to a 30 percent import duty.

The exclusion of motorcycles from the tax breaks has surprised EV advocates and stakeholders, considering that motorcycles are the most preferred means of transportation for Filipinos. Data from the Land Transportation Office reveals that there are nearly eight million registered motorcycle users in the country.

In response to this exclusion, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda has filed House Bill 9573 to modify EO 12. Salceda highlights that 60 percent of the country’s electric vehicles are two-wheeled, making it essential to address this oversight in the legislation.

Ensuring Inclusive Stakeholder Engagement

The concerns raised by stakeholders in the EV industry regarding the review of EO 12 highlight the importance of inclusive stakeholder engagement. To ensure a comprehensive and effective review process, it is crucial for the government to actively reach out to all relevant industry players and solicit their views and comments.

By engaging with stakeholders, such as the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines and Electric Kick Scooter Philippines, the government can gather valuable insights and recommendations. These organizations have a deep understanding of the industry and can provide valuable input on the current market conditions and the potential impact of any modifications to the tariff rates.

Furthermore, the government should consider the significance of motorcycles in the transportation landscape of the Philippines. With nearly eight million registered motorcycle users, motorcycles play a crucial role in the daily lives of Filipinos. Excluding them from the tax breaks provided by EO 12 may hinder the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, which could significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

In conclusion, the concerns expressed by stakeholders in the EV industry regarding the review of EO 12 in the Philippines highlight the need for inclusive stakeholder engagement. The government should actively reach out to industry players, such as the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines and Electric Kick Scooter Philippines, to gather their views and comments. Additionally, the exclusion of motorcycles from the tax breaks provided by EO 12 should be reconsidered, considering their popularity as a means of transportation in the country. By ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive review process, the government can promote the growth of the EV industry and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in the Philippines.

Source: The Manila Times

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