Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri; Finance Secretary Ben Diokno; NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan; Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla; Clark Development Corporation President Agnes Devanadera; Envirotech Vehicles CEO and Board Chair, Mr. Phillip W. Oldridge; colleagues in government; ladies and gentlemen—good afternoon.

Thank you, Senate President Zubiri, for inviting me to the Signing of Lease Agreement between the Envirotech Vehicles, Inc. (EVT) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC). Together with the Philippine government represented here today, our gratitude goes to the entire EVT team for bringing your investment in the Philippines and deciding to set up an EV manufacturing plant at the Clark Freeport Zone. This signing ceremony is a significant step toward the use of environment-friendly vehicles in the country.

This project brings us closer to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s strategic goal to develop a sustainable, inclusive, and industrialized economy.

EVT is a key cog in modernizing the Philippine automotive industry. Under the DTI priority cluster of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Transport (IMT), your investment forms part of the Philippine EV manufacturing ecosystem we are developing. We seek to create an end-to-end value chain from the mining and processing of green metals to the local manufacture of batteries, charging stations or units, and EVs.

As climate change has compelled a global shift to green products such as electric vehicles (EVs), our country is also looking to enter the global EV value chain. We are aggressively positioning the Philippines in the battery segment as the country has rich mineral reserves in nickel and cobalt, which are critical inputs for battery manufacturing.

The Philippine government aspires to fully adopt EVs in the Philippines with the implementation of the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI).

To generate demand and develop the industry, the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) requires corporate and government fleets to allocate 5% of their fleet to be EVs.

Aside from the incentives currently available under the CREATE Act, EVs may now be imported duty-free under Executive Order 12, Series of 2023. This EO REDUCES TO ZERO the tariff rate on completely build-ups of EV passenger cars, buses, minibuses, vans, trucks, kick-scooters, and bicycles for five years. This is expected to significantly lower the cost of bringing EVs into the country, thereby making them more attractive to consumers.

We look forward to our continued partnership with EVT and other stakeholders to further develop the country’s EV industry. Again, thank you EVT for your business confidence and investment in the Philippines. Mabuhay! Let’s continue to make green investments and green jobs happen in the Philippines!*

Date of release: 28 March 2023