NEDA proposes zero-tariff policy for certain e-vehicles

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for the reduction of tariff rates for certain electric vehicles (EV) aimed at triggering the further development of the market.

In a briefing on Thursday, NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan announced that the NEDA Board approved an executive order which seeks to implement tariff modification on certain EVs, and EV parts and components.

The EO is now up for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos' signature, he said.

Balisacan said the EO would temporarily reduce the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates to 0% for five years on completely built up (CBU) units. Currently, the government is imposing import duties from 5% to 30%.

The EVs that would be covered include passenger cars, buses, mini-buses, vans, trucks, motorcycles, tricycles, scooters and bicycles, among others.

Current prices for passenger cars in the market range from ₱1.2 million to over ₱4 million. Meanwhile, e-motorcycles and e-scooters, which are popular among buyers, are priced between ₱13,000 to ₱100,000.

Balisacan, however, noted that hybrid-type EVs would not be covered by the proposed modified tariff rates.

Under the EO, certain parts and components of EVs would also get a slash in tariff rates, from 5% to 1% for five years.

The official said NEDA will review and assess the impact of the tariff modification on the development of the industry after one year of its implementation.

"We want to encourage the use of e-vehicles because that will address pollution issues. We believe that's the future," Balisacan said.

Acknowledging that the quantity of the vehicles remains "not that big" in the market, Balisacan was hopeful the Philippines could see "bigger demands" following the implementation of the EO.

Asked on the lack of charging stations of EVs, Balisacan said this will be addressed once providers record a higher volume of EV users.

"The objective of this tariff reduction is to ensure there are enough e-vehicles around, incentives for service providers for chargers to be set up. Those things will not come in if they don't see a market," he said.

Meanwhile, Balisacan also said the NEDA Board approved several projects, including the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) project, and the loan validity extension of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase I, the New Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System (CNS-ATM) project, and the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project.

It also gave the green light to the Department of Public Works and Highways' request for change in scope of works and increase in cost of its Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (IDRR-CCA) Measures in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay.

The NEDA Board also approved the request for change in scope for the Philippine Competition Commission's Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project.