As the country moves towards the recovery phase from the ill effects of COVID-19 on transportation and mobility, Senator Win Gatchalian pushes for electric vehicles (EVs) anew and the importance of environmental sustainability.
Gatchalian cited a 2020 study by Biona et al that if jeepneys in Metro Manila will be replaced by electric modern jeepneys (e-jeepneys), pollution will decrease by two to four percent.
According to the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, not only will EVs be ecologically-sound as they have great potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it could also reduce the country’s oil consumption by as much as 146.56 million barrels per year equivalent to an annual savings of $9.8 billion or P390 billion per year.
“Isang bagay na natutunan natin sa pandemyang ito ay ang kahalagahan ng makabagong teknolohiya, kung paano nito mapapagaan ang araw-araw nating gawain. Kaya dapat nating paghandaan ang hinaharap na may kaakibat na pagpapahalaga sa kapaligiran at ating kalusugan,” Gatchalian said.
Acknowledging that there are roadblocks in the shift to EVs, Gatchalian said his filed bill known as the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act or Senate Bill No. 1382 will address concerns on costs and lack of infrastructure. Under SB 1382, gasoline stations nationwide will be required to install charging stations. Also, all new public and private buildings will be required to designate dedicated parking slots for the exclusive use of EVs and mandatory open access installation of charging stations in these parking spaces.
To parry the high cost of EVs, the bill provides fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the import, manufacture, and use of EVs which includes discounts on the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge as well as expedited registration procedures for EV users.
The lawmaker, meanwhile, welcomed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) formulation of policy on electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS).