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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Palace urged to widen scope of Executive Order on electric vehicles’ tax incentives

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A pro-consumer group on Wednesday urged the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to widen the coverage of Executive Order No. 12 by granting incentives to two and three wheeled electric vehicles (EV), stressing EVs would benefit more Filipinos, and not just those who can afford to acquire four-wheel cars.

Louie Montemar, co-convenor of Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuryente (BK3), said EO 12 issued by the Palace last month should be amended so that the tax breaks given to owners of EVs could be enjoyed by Filipinos from the working class.

“The current EO is discriminatory because it covers only four-wheeled vehicles. It does not cover the majority of the working class, many of whom use two and three-wheeled vehicles, or even public utility jeepneys,” he said.

“We have to correct this injustice. Those who are already given tax perks are vehicle owners from the AB socioeconomic bracket. Meanwhile, millions use their two or three-wheeled vehicles to go to and from work or school. These are the people who are acutely feeling the pinch of higher prices of fuel and other commodities against their limited income,” Montemar explained.

Montemar pointed out that an amended EO would enable the government to encourage consumers to shift consumers away from their dependence on fossil fuels.

“The zero import tax incentive for five years will allow more consumers to consider better and more environmentally-friendly alternatives,” he said.

Experts have warned that motorcycles are also significant contributors to air pollution, and number almost half of the 2.9 million registered vehicles plying the streets of Metro Manila.

“Motorcycles are popular because they are an affordable option to get from Point A to Point B, but with government data showing over 7 million motorcycles in the country, is there a substantial environmental cost?” Montemar asked.

“Tax breaks for electric two or three wheeled vehicles would create an incentive for Filipinos to make healthier, cost effective, electric vehicles, which I believe is the more responsible choice,” the BK3 official added.

“There is a growing demand for electrically powered motorcycles given their cost-effectiveness and their sustainability and is a step in the right direction as we struggle to address and mitigate the risks of climate change,” Montemar said.

Montemar added EVs are the mode of transport of the future, and the government should support a faster transition to smokeless and green modes of transportation.

“It is one thing to make pronouncements about the benefits of environmentally friendly alternatives,” he said. “It is quite another thing to actually create policy that supports and promotes this in a way that could be felt by all people, not just the upper classes,” he pointed out.

“Amending the EO to include motorcycles will make the policy more inclusive as it should be,” he said.

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