TAGUIG CITY – During the Signing of a Lease Agreement between Envirotech Vehicles, Inc. (EVT) and Berthaphil, Inc. on 28 March 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized the Philippine government’s goal of developing a sustainable, inclusive and industrialized economy that will pave the way for the Philippines to penetrate the global electric vehicle (EV) value chain.

“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,” Secretary Pascual said.

EVT is a US-based transportation industry provider, specializing in all-electric vehicles for commercial and industrial use. Following its success in the US, EVT is now entering the Philippines and is geared to set up a manufacturing plant for EVs at the Clark Freeport Zone.

The global shift to green products such as EVs is crucial to address environmental problems caused by climate change. As the current administration aspires to enter the global EV value chain, several legislations have been passed to develop the local EV industry such as the–Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) and the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), which will require the government to implement and allocate 5% of their fleet to EVs.

Under the EVIDA Act, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are provided to encourage the purchase and utilization of EVs by Filipino consumers. Further, DTI through Board of Investment (BOI) shall recommend an EV incentive strategy (EVIS) to the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) for approval, similar to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program to ensure the creation of an enabling business environment for the country’s EV industry.

Aside from tax incentives available under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, importation of EVs are now duty-free under Executive Order No. 12, Series of 2023. The tariff rate of EV passenger cars, buses, minibuses, vans, trucks, kick-scooters, and bicycles are reduced to zero for the next five years. This is complementary with DTI’s goal of encouraging EV investments by lowering its importation costs, introducing its viability to the public, encouraging shift to less oil-dependent transport options, and improving the country’s energy security.

Secretary Pascual further highlighted that “aside from our commitment to combat climate change through the use of EVs, the DTI also aims to aggressively position the Philippines in the battery segment of the global market. Given the presence of abundant nickel and cobalt reserves, the Philippine government is consistently promoting the country as a potential manufacturing hub for battery production.”

In closing, the Secretary recognized the significant role played by EVT’s investment and expansion in developing and realizing the potentials of the country’s EV industry. He said

in closing that “the growth and development of the EV industry is crucial in making green investments and jobs happen in the Philippines as we aim to generate stable, high-quality, and better-paying jobs for Filipinos, while achieving shared prosperity for all.”

The event was also attended by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Finance Secretary Benjamin 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 and other public and private sector representatives.

Date of release: 29 March 2023