Top Gear Philippines

It seems like more lawmakers are becoming concerned about the Philippines' dependence on fossil fuel and the pollution caused by its use as a spate of bills seeking incentives for the production and importation of electric, hybrid and other alternative-fuel-powered vehicles have been filed in Congress recently.

The most recent proposal, House Bill 5161 or the Electric, Hybrid and Other Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act of 2011, was filed by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and his brother Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao). The bill states that "it is the policy of the State to safeguard life and environment by encouraging the use of alternative sources of energy for vehicles intended for private and public life."

The measure covers electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles, and excludes vehicles powered by gasoline, petroleum, bio-diesel and bio-ethanol.

The bill seeks to exempt from the payment of excise taxes and duties for nine years from the date the law is passed for the production or assembly of completely-knocked down parts of electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel, and the importation of completely-built units.

The bill also seeks to provide non-fiscal incentives for these vehicles like priority in registration and issuance of plate number, priority in franchise application, exemption from Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number-coding scheme, and the provision for free parking space in new establishments.

Earlier this year, Rep. Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), filed a similar proposal, House Bill 4794, seeking to provide incentives for the manufacture, assembly, conversion and importation of hybrid vehicles while Rep. Ryan Luis Singson (1st District, Ilocos Sur) filed House Bill 5139 exempting all manufacturers and importers of hybrid vehicles from payment of certain taxes.

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