A Philippine inter-agency panel chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Thursday approved removing tariffs on electric vehicles (EVs) to spur demand amid high fuel costs.
Marcos will issue an executive order cutting to 0% the most favoured nation tariff on EVs like passengers cars, buses, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles, and their parts for five years. Current import duties range from 5% to 30%.
"The executive order aims to expand market sources and encourage consumers to consider acquiring EVs, improve energy security by reducing dependence on imported fuel, and promote the growth of the domestic EV industry ecosystem," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told a news conference.
Consumers in the Philippines currently need to shell out $21,000 to $49,000 for an EV, versus the $19,000 to $26,000 price for conventional vehicles.
Tariff rates on hybrid vehicles will not change.
Of the country's more than five million registered automotives, only 9,000 are electric, mostly passenger vehicles, government data show. Personal EVs account for just 1% of the market, and are mostly owned by the extremely wealthy, data from the United States' International Trade Administration show.
The Southeast Asian nation's automotive sector relies mostly on imported fuel. It also buys oil and coal abroad for its energy generation needs, making it vulnerable to price volatility. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)