Electric vehicle group to Isko: We support drive for order in Manila but…

The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) is all for new Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s drive to “clean up and put order” in the streets. However, the group appealed in a statement that an exception should be made “in the absence of alternative public transport and minor road and in cases that support national and local strategic agenda, e.g. tourism logistics.”

Moreno earlier said that in order to alleviate traffic congestion, the city government will remove around 300 electric tricycles from the streets of Manila.

“We will pull them out (because they) generate chaos. Ang kawawa mgajeepney drivers, bukod satraffic at magulo… sila nagbabayad ng franchise (It’s unfair to the jeepney drivers because in addition to the traffic these [EV] vehicles cause, jeepney operators pay for a franchise while these electric tricycles don’t),” Moreno told reporters on the sidelines of the Metro Manila mayors’ meeting at the MMDA last week – adding that jeepney drivers are losing income since commuters prefer to ride e-tricycles ever since they were allowed to operate in Manila by former Mayor Joseph Estrada.

EVAP said it is aware “several e-trikes have been rolled-out in some areas, with minimal consideration on its proper operation, which eventually creates disorder. However, a number of initiatives were properly planned out, functioning well and are serving their purpose.”

The association cited the case of “tourist e-trike services” in Intramuros. “To note, the initiative is coherent with the direction of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in including e-trikes in the coverage of tourist transport services to ‘promote new and more sustainable public transport solutions and to support the country’s flourishing tourism industry.The Department of Energy (DOE) has also donated to date a total of 3,000 e-trikes to various LGUs all over the country, including 100 to the City of Manila, to promote energy efficiency and security.” 

Moreno had decried that, unlike public utility vehicles that have acquired franchises to legitimately operate, e-trikes plying the city streets are not regulated by the city government. 

The decision came after Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim’s request to address the prevalence of e-bikes that are plying major thoroughfares. 

EVAP maintained that e-trikes produce “less than half of the greenhouse gases and have negligible health effects compared to those churned out by conventional tricycles.” The group also maintained that electric vehicles reduce the country’s dependence on imported petroleum fuel, “which reduces (our) energy security risk.” The group also expressed its confidence in local industry to capitalize on the “opportunity to finally produce our own vehicles and possibly become a manufacturing hub of the technology in ASEAN.

“In consideration of its economic, environmental, and social benefits, we, therefore, in EVAP instead recommend the re-organization of e-trkes in the City of Manila and are looking forward to working with the City Government on how to maximize the proper and optimal use of e-trikes in the city. We shall also be working with LTO and DOTr in the preparation of appropriate guidelines on the classification, registration and usage of electric vehicles in the country.”On its website, www.evap.com.ph, the association says it “envisions a nation wherein the use of electric vehicles is highly promoted, encouraged, and supported by its government and the society in order to develop a transportation landscape that is one with the environment ecologically and economically.” With Christian Imperio, Robertzon Ramirez/The STAR

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