CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The enactment of Republic Act No. 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, is timely and appropriate as this will help address the excessive petroleum prices today and mitigate the impact of climate change, according to Pampanga Second District Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo.

“RA 11697 is good for the Filipino people because it will ensure the country’s energy security and independence by reducing reliance on imported fuel for the transportation sector,” said Arroyo, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Energy.

The measure, which was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives last year to accelerate the development of the Philippine electric vehicle industry and create a comprehensive roadmap, has recently lapsed into law.

Electric vehicle refers to a vehicle with at least one electric drive for propulsion. Under the law, it is identified as a battery electric vehicle, hybrid electric vehicle, light electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Arroyo said the new law will specifically provide an enabling environment for the development and use of electric vehicles, including options for micro-mobility as an attractive and feasible mode of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel.

He said this will also promote and support innovation in clean, sustainable and efficient energy to accelerate social progress and human development by encouraging the public and private use of low-emission and other alternative energy technologies.

RA 116971 also seeks to protect the health and well-being of the people from pollution and greenhouse effects; safeguard and improve the integrity, reliability and stability of the power grid; as well as promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization.

“At the same time, it will generate employment opportunities for our local skilled workforce to sustain their livelihood,” said Arroyo.

The law governs “the manufacture, assembly, importation, construction, installation, maintenance, trade and utilization, research and development, and regulation of electric vehicles.”

It establishes a comprehensive roadmap for the electric vehicle industry and identifies the role of the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Science and Technology in promoting the use of electric vehicles and developing the e-vehicle industry.

The roadmap includes four components: EVs and charging stations; manufacturing; research and development; and human resource development.

It initially requires industrial and commercial companies such as cargo, food delivery and tourism companies; public transport operators; national and local government agencies; and government owned or controlled corporations to have electric vehicles comprise at least 5 percent of their fleet, whether owned or leased.

Establishments with 20 or more designated parking slots are required to convert and dedicate 5 percent of their space for EV parking and provide charging points.

RA 11697 is among the measures endorsed by Arroyo and approved by the House Committee on Energy. The committee also pushes for the approval of two other measures aimed at addressing the impact of Climate Change and promoting the use of clean energy in the Philippines.

These measures are House Bill No. 9544 which proposes to create the Philippine Renewable Energy Corporation, and the review of Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, to make its provisions attuned to the needs of the country.

Arroyo’s committee is one of the largest in the House of Representatives, with 65 members including a chairperson and nine vice chairpersons. The committee has general and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters relating to the exploration, development, exploitation, utilization or conservation of energy resources; entities involved in power generation, transmission and distribution; and supply of all forms of energy and energy fuels.