Month: May 2014

Electric Vehicles to Mitigate Climate Change – Sen. Bam

Electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) will help the country mitigate the risks associated with climate change as they reduce air pollution as result of the country’s heavy dependence on petroleum.

Senator Bam Aquino underscored this as he filed Senate Bill Nos. 2150 and 2151, which grant two bills granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to manufacturers and buyers of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.

In his explanatory note, Aquino said the Philippines should mainstream programs that mitigate climate change risks and instill climate change adaptation among private sector, communities, and individuals.

“Early adaptation to and promotion of AFVs will help the country mitigate the risks associated with climate change, while opening up potential investment and job opportunities that will ultimately benefit more Filipinos,” Aquino stressed.

Based on studies, Aquino said 80 percent of particulates, or particles that cause pollution, come from gas and diesel powered vehicles.

“Electric and AFVs are pro-environment vehicles because they have zero emission,” Aquino said.

Aquino also hailed the government’s move to ensure the growth of the domestic electric vehicle manufacturing industry through transformation of public major transportation as this was showcased to US President Barack Obama last week.

Key milestones include the Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of putting 100,000 electric tricycles on the road by 2017, and the Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines’ (EVAP) goal of one million electric vehicles by 2020.

Aquino said his bills would provide a stronger policy support needed by the industry to encourage investment and remove key barriers that hinder its growth, such as high initial costs and lack of fiscal incentives.

Under the bill, qualified manufacturers, assemblers and importers of vehicles are exempted from the payment of excise taxes, duties and VAT for spare parts, raw materials, components and capital equipment for nine years.

Aside from that, they will also be exempted from paying Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) for nine years.

Aquino also proposed several non-fiscal incentives to boost production and drive consumer demand for alternative fuel vehicles.

Among them are priority registration and plate number issuance; priority franchise application; exemption from Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or Number-Coding Scheme; and the provision of free parking spaces in new establishments for AFV drivers.

“While the costs of electric and hybrid vehicles are higher compared to those of regular vehicles, these non-fiscal incentives will make the acquisition and conversion of vehicles more attractive to consumers and manufacturers alike,” Aquino said.

Aquino’s bills also aim to help the local electric vehicle industry become a major player in the Asian market.

Aquino said Asia is currently the largest market for hybrid and electric vehicles with 56 percent of shares, based on a study released by international consulting firm Grant Thornton in 2012.

The study added that global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are projected to reach 5.4 million vehicles by 2021 or more than six percent of the automotive market.

Also, the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 presents a key opportunity for the Philippines to emerge as a leader in this sector and cater to a regional market.

“This can very well pave the way for more investments, jobs, and livelihood opportunities to reach more Filipinos,” the senator said.


Photo source: Get Philippines Facebook page

Sen. Bam Lauds Kiko’s Appointment as Presidential Adviser on Agriculture

Senator Bam Aquino lauds the appointment of former senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, saying his experience and competence fit the mandate and position.

“I am confident that he will be able to push through with the needed reforms and modernization plans to achieve inclusive growth in the agricultural sector,” said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aquino added that he and Pangilinan share the same view, believing in “inclusive supply chains” and “farmers are also entrepreneurs”.

“Senator Kiko and I have talked about programs that start at the farms and end with food at the table. His programs and mine are complementary,” the senator said, adding that Pangilinan’s experience in running his own farm is a plus for his new position.

“In our previous meetings, we have talked about future convergence points and partnerships that will enable farmers to grow their production, their market and their livelihood,” Aquino added.

Aquino committed to help Pangilinan work for innovative tools and technology that “will bring back the richness of our agricultural sector and for our own sustainability as a nation” through legislative measures.

Pangilinan served as senator for 12 years. He was also Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development.


Photo source: Malacanang Photo Bureau

Sen. Bam: Filipino Workers Should Have Lower Taxes

Good news for Filipino workers burdened by high taxes!

Filipinos burdened by high taxes can heave a sigh of relief once a bill filed by Senator Bam Aquino seeking to review and reform current tax system is enacted into law.

In explaining Senate Bill No. 1942, Aquino said there’s an urgent need to revise the current tax bracket set by the National Internal Revenue Code, which was passed in 1997.

“Now is the time to get this updated and be attuned to the present time,” Aquino stressed.  “We cannot continue using outdated tax brackets and a threshold which were approved fifteen years ago.”

“The salary of a management level employee fifteen years ago will probably be equivalent to the salary of an entry level call center agent today because of inflation and other economic factors,” he added.

Under Aquino’s bill, Section 24 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 will be amended by adjusting the levels of net taxable income and simplifying the nominal tax rates in computing individual income tax, based on current prices.

“The Tax Reform Act effectively lowers the taxes on the Filipino working class, allowing them to enjoy a higher net income and increasing their purchasing power,” Aquino said.

The senator also assured that the bill would not impose a burden on the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that comprise a majority of employers in the Philippines.

With a just tax system, Aquino believes that it will encourage citizens to declare their true income and pay their taxes.

“It also supports the government’s push for inclusive growth while ensuring that government is still able to raise funds for social programs that directly benefit the poor,” Aquino said.  “It is a win-win solution that offers the greatest benefit to the greatest number of Filipinos.”

Aquino added that the bill also adjusts the tax level of the upper one percent (1%) of taxpayers, making sure that the government is able to collect a larger share of income from those who can afford to pay more.

Scroll to top