Alena Mae S. Flores
Newgen Electric Technologies Inc., a unit of Victory Liner Inc., is seeking duty-free importation and tax breaks for the entry of its first electric bus into the country.
Newgen president Jan Kierulf, director for research and development of Victory Liner, said in a statement the Energy Department endorsed to the Finance Department the request of Newgen to bring an electric bus at zero taxes and duties.
Almendras said the Newgen’s plans was aligned with the department’s own thrust to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
Almendras also expressed his support for Newgen’s electric bus project in a recent forum in Cebu as the project is expected to spur the creation of a local electric bus manufacturing industry.
Kierulf wrote Almendras in June, seeking the department’s help in asking Finance to waive the taxes and duties associated with the importation of an electric bus.
Kierulf said the first bus that Newgen wanted to bring into the country would serve as the “proof of concept” for investors who might want to produce electric buses locally.
He said investments in the assembly of such buses here would not only help boost the use of electric vehicles in the country, but also pave the way for possible electric bus exports.
Locally assembled electric buses could be used to ply selected routes in Metro Manila, he said, under a joint program between Victory Liner and the Climate Change Commission.
He said this would help address the metro’s air pollution problem and meet the department’s goal of reducing the use of fossil fuels in the public transport sector.
“We welcome the DoE’s endorsement of our request to the DoF to waive the taxes and duties on the electric bus that we’ll be bringing into the country. We hope the DoF will see the value of our request, as this could possibly give rise to a local electric bus manufacturing industry that will generate hundreds of new jobs for Filipinos,” said Kierulf.
“What we really want is to encourage other companies to invest in electric bus manufacturing here. We want to see the Philippines as a key player in the electric bus industry, and not just an importer of already assembled electric buses. We have the capability. We just need government support,” he added.