Some executives think the EV revolution is a golden opportunity for PH manufacturing

They have a point
by Drei Laurel | Sep 16, 2021
PHOTO: Honda

Yes, the Philippines is lagging when it comes to electric-vehicle adoption. This doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t ways through which our country can take advantage of this global motoring revolution.

During this year’s Liveable Cities Challenge Lab—a webinar supported by the League of Cities of the Philippines and Globe, with the theme ‘Mobility: Building an E-vehicle Ecosystem’—Ayala Corporation executive Arthur Tan suggested that the electric revolution is a situation the Philippines can take advantage of.

The CEO of AC Industrials wasn’t referring to ditching internal combustion engines for batteries. Instead, he talked about the manufacturing opportunity electric cars presented, saying many EV components are already being made locally: “What we’re trying to do is to bring forth here in the Philippines at least the capability and the technology,” he stressed. “If we decide as a country that this is really something that we want to be part of, lead, and even leapfrog, this new field is happening in the mobility space.

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“We have the ability to start touching on vehicle manufacturing, the retail and after-sales services as a complete vertical for the whole ecosystem.”

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Freddie Tinga, CEO of EV production firm Global Electric Transport (GET), shared Tan’s sentiments. He called the EV landscape “exciting,” saying there is a “global solution” here in the Philippines.

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“This is an exciting time for us. We feel we have a global solution that we’re polishing here in the Philippines,” he said. “And it’s a solution that will be able to transform a lot of urban environments all over the world.”

Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa, executive director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Board of Investment’s Industry Development Services, said the government is already working to turn the Philippines into a conducive environment for EV manufacturing. She added that her agency is already trying to get a bill containing the framework of such an industry passed.

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“We in BOI and DTI will continue to work hard to create opportunities for local companies to increasingly participate in global value chains and develop more competencies as we shift and join the global automotive industry towards collected, autonomous, shared, and electrified technologies,” the executive said.

The Philippines as a hub for global EV manufacturing? That sounds like an interesting proposition. Think our country has a shot?

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PHOTO: Honda
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