House bill on electric vehicle registration, infra filed

Electric vehicles, even purebred electric cars from well-known brands like Tesla, may hit Philippine roads a lot sooner if a bill filed in the Lower House makes sufficient progress.

During a virtual meeting last June 24 of the House Committee on Energy chaired by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, lawmakers decided to create a technical working group (TWG) that will fine tune House Bill 4075 or the proposed “Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act.” After the deliberations, Bataan Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III was named as TWG head.

Sponsored by Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos, House Bill 4075 seeks to create a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the registration and use of electric vehicles (EVs), as well as establishment of EV charging stations.

The proposal outlined the roles of national government agencies in establishing a mechanism for the regulation and accreditation of all charging station service providers, distribution utilities, and manufacturers.

The bill mandates the creation of green routes exclusive to EVs, dedicated parking slots and the construction of charging stations for electric vehicles in buildings and structures, both public and private.

Should the bill pass into law, the Philippines may be on the path to join other advanced economies in the use of electric vehicles. As of the moment, registering EVs cannot be done at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) because the LTO’s mandate only covers gas-fed motor engines, not EVs that run on electric motors.

The bill author stated that the use of EVs would reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel for the transportation sector, as he encouraged the manufacture, importation and utilization of EVs.

“The bill seeks to incentivize the EV industry and its usage through fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to spur purchase and ownership of the vehicles. These will include exemptions from payment of certain duties and fees, as well as prioritization in registration and franchise applications,” Rep. Bernos said.

“We need to reduce the dependence on imported fuel for the transport sector and carbon emissions that affect health and conduct of commerce in the country,” the lawmaker said.

In the US, one of the most popular brands is Tesla, an industry leader in manufacturing electric cars and batteries. Despite Tesla’s popularity in North America, very few Tesla units have ever made it on our shores, owned by VIPs. Among the VIPs who own such units in the country are business tycoon and media mogul Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) who owns a sedan, and former Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, who owns a black Tesla SUV. – Delon Porcalla

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