MANILA, JUNE 12, 2007
(STAR) By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - The government expressed its support for the Philippine Utility Vehicle (PhUV) program of the local car industry, saying the activity qualifies for fiscal and non fiscal incentives under the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

“We will be supportive. The activity qualifies for incentives but they haven’t applied yet,” Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Elmer C. Hernandez said in an interview.

According to Hernandez, the PhUV is expected to boost the ailing local automotive industry. “Because the project has a high local content, it can provide more jobs. This is a big business,” Hernandez explained.

Hernandez said the incentives will help further bring down the cost of the PhUV. Under the project, local parts manufacturers can apply for separate incentives from the car manufacturers.

The lower cost, he said would mean that more Filipinos would be able to afford the PhUV. The PhUV may be used both for personal and for business.

The Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP), the brains behind the PhUV, earlier said they will ask the DTI to exempt car assemblers and parts makers from excise tax.

MVPMAP Director and head of the PhUV technical working group Ferdi Raquelsantos said they will submit a proposal before the tri-partite PhUV Technical Working Group (TWG).

Aside from excise tax exemption, Raquelsantos said they will likewise ask for lower fuel prices and duty free importation, among others.

“Among the proposals to be forwarded are the exemption from excise tax for the PhUV similar to those given to the local assemblers of jeeps and trucks, income tax holidays, duty-free importation of raw materials and machinery, reduced fuel prices for buyers similar to those extended to the public utility jeepneys (PUJs), reduced PhUV LTO registration and a government-led retail financing to make the PhUV affordable,” he expounded.

Also, Raquelsantos said they will also ask the regulators to give more incentives in the form of additional excise tax reduction for PhUV units that can run using alternative fuel like ethanol (E5 or E10) or biodiesel. They will also push for the government’s strict implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Motor Vehicle Inspection System to ensure a vehicle’s safety, roadworthiness and compliance to environmental standards.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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