EVAP officials together with DTI Sec. Adrian Cristobal
EVAP officials together with DTI Sec. Adrian Cristobal

Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) president Rommel Juan expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as to the Board of Investments (BOI) for being instrumental to the viability and growth of the domestic electric vehicle (EV) Industry. Juan personally thanked Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. during a dinner hosted by the DTI chief in honor of the representatives from different industries.

Juan recalled that when the EV industry started nine years ago following a call to develop locally assembled electric jeepneys for the City of Makati, it was the members of the auto parts manufacturing industry who heeded the call.

“With help from the DTI and BOI, we had to go to China to look for electric vehicle components that were not available locally. It was through the efforts of then commercial counselor Rico Mariano of Beijing that we were able to find the suppliers we needed,” he said.

“As we strove to develop the EV industry further, the task was picked up by the next Beijing Commercial Counselor Christine De La Cruz, who ably introduced us to even more suppliers and the big boys of the Chinese automotive industry,” Juan added.

The EVAP president further said that this inspired the organization to lead-organize the Philippine EV Summit and invite foreign players to look at the country’s infant EV industry, forge partnerships and make investments. “It was through the efforts of commercial counselor Dita Angara and BOI Director Angie Cayas that we were able to invite major players from Taiwan, Korea and Japan.”

“The EV Summit was a tremendous success and was able to attract close to one billion pesos worth of foreign investment for the country. And in the recently concluded fifth edition of the EV Summit, not just completely built-up and locally-assembled electric vehicles were prevalent but also suppliers of motors, controllers, batteries, chargers and axles have also expressed interest in having local presence by setting up shop here in the Philippines.”

Juan noted that DTI and BOI were very helpful when it comes to industry policy with Assistant Secretary Fita Aldaba very instrumental in forging the roadmap that the EV industry now follows. “This was responsible for our steady growth. Now we have electric vehicles in various forms and in numerous areas of the country starting with Makati, Muntinlupa, Filinvest City Alabang, Las Pinas, Dela Salle University, Ateneo University, UP [University of the Philippines], and in the provinces such as in Cebu, Naga, Palawan and even the island paradise Boracay.”

“To make sure the momentum is sustained, we are now working with BOI Director Corieh Dichosa and Division Chief Lito Umali in organizing technical working group sub cluster meetings that link the EV industry players with the different government agencies such as DOE [Department of Energy], DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources], DOST [Department of Science and Technology], DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communications], LTO [Land Transportation Office], LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board], DBP [Development Bank of the Philippines] and LandBank [Land Bank of the Philippines].”

“They say that it takes a community to raise a child. In the case of our young electric vehicle industry, it took a community of government and the industry players working together to rear and grow the industry. We could not ask for more. We could just express our gratitude to them,” Juan concluded.