Negros Occidental lawmaker lauds passage of law on electric vehicle development

April 28, 2022 by No Comments

AS PART of the Bicameral Conference Committee that consolidated the House and Senate bills, Negros Occidental Third District District Representative Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez said he is elated by the passage of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Bill into a law.Benitez said as climate change intensifies, there is a need to transition away from fossil fuels and develop vehicles that utilize other energy sources.The bill outlining the government’s policy on the regulation and development of electric vehicles in the country is now officially a law, as Republic Act (RA) 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act lapsed into law on last April 15.RA 11697 specifically aims to promote the industry as a “feasible mode of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.”It also governs “the manufacture, assembly, importation, construction, installation, maintenance, trade and utilization, research and development, and regulation of electric vehicles.”The law was approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2021 but was only received by the Office of the President in mid-March.Under Section 27 (1) of the Constitution, a bill sent to the President for approval automatically becomes law no action is taken within 30 days of receipt.RA 11697 further states that various industries like cargo logistics, food delivery companies, tour agencies, hotels, power utilities, and water utilities are required to have a five percent electric vehicles quota for their vehicle fleets, whether owned or leased, under a timeline that will be determined by the industry road map.The technical working group (TWG) will be led by the Department of Energy, which will spearhead the electric vehicle adoption campaign and the rollout of charging stations.Representatives from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, and Transportation; as well as the National Economic and Development Authority will also sit as TWG members.