The past few years has seen the introduction of new, eco friendly hybrid vehicles to the Philippine car market, albeit with rather high prices compared to their similarly sized, conventional counterparts. Well, Filipino motorists might see more hybrid vehicles on our roads soon as hybrid vehicles' prices should go down and be more feasible to the general motoring public and not just for an elite few.
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading the House Bill 5460. The bill seeking to provide incentives for the manufacture, assembly, conversion and importation of electric, hybrid and other alternative-fuel vehicles. It also aims to lay down the groundwork for the widespread use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in the country and thus lessen dependence on imported fossil fuel.
The measure, which substitutes House Bills 01, 4794, 5139, and 5161, also seeks to protect the environment by mitigating the deleterious effects of harmful carbon emission into the atmosphere.
The bill defines electric vehicle (EV) as any vehicle that uses electric motors solely for propulsion while hybrid vehicle (HV) refers to any vehicle that combines the technologies of using internal combustion engine (ICE) with a battery-powered electric motor to gain advantages of both propulsion systems.
On the other hand, alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) pertains to any vehicle using alternative sources of energy such as but not limited to solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cell, compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) other than conventional sources of energy like petroleum and gasoline for propulsion.
In general, the bill exempts activities pertaining or related to the local assembly of such eco-friendly vehicles for 9 years. For imported completely built up units (CBU) that fall under the EV, Hybrid or Alternative Fuel Vehicle category, excise taxes are exempted for 4 years.
With the House Bill 5460 being approved, the aim is to reduce prices of hybrid vehicles significantly enough so as to make them feasible for the average car buyer.
The bill is authored by Reps. Hermilando I. Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), Albert S. Garcia (2nd District, Bataan), Jose Ma. F. Zubiri (3rd District, Bukidnon), Ryan Luis V. Singson (1st District, Ilocos Sur), Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo B. Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao).