Transport group PISTON expressed concern over Marcos Jr’s approval of the temporary zero-tariff policy for electric vehicles and spare parts, arguing that a genuine just transition, not gross reliance on importation, is key to cleaner and greener transportation.
Malacañang on Thursday disclosed that Marcos Jr signed Executive Order (EO) No. 12 on Jan. 13 allowing import duty rates on electric vehicles, parts, and components to be temporarily modified to zero for a period of five years.
“Hindi ba alam ni Marcos Jr na marami tayong mga siyentista, inhinyero, at mga manggagawang kayang kaya bumuo ng sarili nating mga e-vehicle sa bansa?” said Mody Floranda, PISTON national president. “Ang kailangan lang nila ay suporta mula sa gobyerno.”
The group explained that transitioning to cleaner transport is beyond simply trying to lower carbon emissions. It should include and prioritize the needs of workers and other vulnerable sectors as major economic stakeholders. This means supporting local vital industries like manufacturing and transportation, enabling them to produce formal jobs, and shifting away from being grossly dependent on foreign investments and importation that only causes decent domestic jobs to remain scarce while offering low wages.
“‘Pag nagdagsaan na rito sa bansa ang mga e-vehicle, saan balak itambak ng gobyerno ang mga mape-phaseout na lumang sasakyan para hindi dumagdag sa basura at dumi sa kalikasan?” said Floranda. “Dapat palakasin at suportahan ang lokal nating industriya para dumami rin ang trabaho sa bansa.”
PISTON also noted that the government’s PUV Modernization Program, which aims to replace traditional jeepneys with imported electric or hybrid “modern” vehicles displacing thousands of jobs from the informal passenger transport industry, is one of the key economic and labor rights violations they will highlight in the upcoming International Labour Organization High-Level Tripartite Mission in the Philippines starting Jan. 23.