At the end of January 2013, the Philippine Senate passed Senate Bill No. 2856 entitled An Act Providing Incentives for the Manufacture, Assembly, Conversion and Importation of Electric, Hybrid and other Alternative Fuel Vehicles, and for Other Purposes. Under “Alternative Fuels”, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) is amongst the fuels specified. A number of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are notated.
Section 5: Incentives for Manufacturers and Assemblers –
“… the manufacture or assembly of completely knocked-down (CKD) parts of … alternative fuel vehicles, including the conversion of vehicles into … alternative fuel vehicles, shall be exempt from the payment of excise taxes and duties for nine (9) years from the effectivity of this Act.
“The imposition of the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the purchase and importation of raw materials, spare parts, components and capital equipment used in the manufacture or assembly of … alternative fuel vehicles shall be suspended for the next nine (9) years from the effectivity of this Act.
Section 6: Incentives for Importers – exempts the importation of completely built units from the same taxes specified above.
Section 7: Exemption from the Payment of Motor Vehicle User’s Charge – exempts from payment of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge
Other provisions include prioritization of vehicle registration and plating, and provision of exclusive free parking spaces as part of approvals for building new vehicle parking infrastructure..
The passing of Senate Bill 2856 was well received by Gazasia, a company founded to help improve the air quality of Asia’s cities by providing sustainable, green transport solutions, utilising waste that would otherwise be left to pollute the environment.
Richard Lilleystone, Gazasia’s CEO, comments: “The bill was described as promoting ‘clean energy, clean air, green jobs by its author, Senator Ralph Recto, all of which are central to our programme of establishing waste to fuel plants throughout the Philippines in partnership with Aboitiz.
‘”Reducing the prices of alternative energy vehicles and their import cost through tax incentives will have a significant impact on the country’s alternative automotive industry which is currently operating well below capacity, and will provide us with an expanding market for our fuel.
Since that time, Juan Alfonso, Director of Aseagas, Gazasia’s joint venture partnership with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, has confirmed via an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that the first phase of a USD150 million investment in biogas facilities would be rolled out in the second or third quarter of 2013.
The first phase is a USD 30 million facility will produce approximately 5 million litres per annum, enough to fuel over 150 vehicles – mostly delivery trucks and heavy buses.
(Sources: Government of the Philippines, Gazasia)