Electric vehicle (EV) industry players and clean air advocates are calling on the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to lead the push to accelerate efforts to promote 'green traffic' through the inclusion of e-motorcycles as part of those enjoying tax exemption as the agency starts its review of an executive order that modified the tariffs on EVs.

With the NEDA tasked to start the review of the implementation of EO 12, EV stakeholders urged NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan to lead efforts to move toward green traffic and reduce the reliance on vehicles powered by gasoline through amendments in the order.

Electric Kick Scooter Philippines co-founder and chairman Tim Vargas said 'it is high time that e-motorcycles receive tax breaks, as it is a privilege that was initially deprived of them.'

Under EO 12, which took effect on Feb.20 last year, import duties on EVs and parts and components were reduced to zero from the previous five to 30 percent.

The reduced tariff is in effect for a period of five years.

E-motorcycles, however, were excluded from those benefiting from the tariff suspension, and are currently subject to a 30 percent tariff rate.

'It's important to give them what's due them. We're looking forward and we also laud the humility of the NEDA, Rep. Joey Salceda, and some people in the executive branch that they saw that this review is an opportunity to improve what has been delivered before,' Vargas said.

'But hopefully, moving forward, we need to have more stakeholder engagement and try to understand further rather than making this impulsive decision on just hastily passing things rather than being more constructive,' he said further.

EO 12 was issued to help complement the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), which seeks to promote innovation in clean energy and sustainable transportation while pushing for the development of the EV industry to create jobs.

Lawyer and mobility advocate Vin Ching also called on the government to help make the shift to EVs affordable for the Filipino working class.

'We urge the government to consider the positive impact, especially that the inclusion of e-motorcycles will benefit those in the working class, those who need transportation,' he said.

As motorcycles account for the bulk of vehicles in the country, he said the inclusion of motorcycles in the list of EVs benefiting from tax breaks will give 'true meaning' to the essence of EO 12

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