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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Consumer advocacy group seeks tax incentives for bikes, trikes

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A consumer advocacy group seeks tax incentives for bicycles and tricycles similar to those granted to electricity-powered vehicles.

Louie Montemar, co-convenor of Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuryente (BK3), says Executive Order no. 12, issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last month should be amended so that the tax breaks given to owners of electric vehicles could be enjoyed also by those in the working class.

“The current EO is discriminatory because it covers only four-wheeled vehicles. It does not cover the majority of the working class, many of whom use two- and three- wheeled vehicles, or even public utility jeepneys,” Montemar said.

“We have to correct this injustice. Those who are already given tax perks are vehicle owners from the AB socio-economic bracket. Meanwhile, millions use their two- or three-wheeled vehicles to go to and from work or school. These are the people who are acutely feeling the pinch of higher prices of fuel and other commodities against their limited income,” he added.

According to Montemar, an amended EO will also be an opportunity for the government to drive consumers away from their dependence on fossil fuels.

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“The zero import tax incentive for five years will allow more consumers to consider better and more environmentally-friendly alternatives,” he said.

He quoted experts as having warned that motorcycles are also significant contributors to air pollution.

“Motorcycles are popular because they are an affordable option to get from Point A to Point B, but with government data showing over seven million motorcycles in the country, there is substantial environmental cost?”

“Tax breaks for electric two or three wheeled vehicles would create an incentive for Filipinos to make the healthier, cost effective, electric vehicles, which I believe is the more responsible choice,” Montemar noted.

“There is a growing demand for electrically powered motorcycles given their cost-effectiveness and their sustainability and is a step in the right direction as we struggle to address and mitigate the risks of climate change,” he said.

Montemar said electric vehicles are the transportation of the future, and the government should support a faster transition to smokeless modes of transportation.

“It is one thing to make pronouncements about the benefits of environmentally friendly alternatives,” he said. “It is quite another thing to actually create policy that supports and promotes this in a way that could be felt by all the people, not just the upper classes.”

“Amending the EO to include motorcycles will make the policy more inclusive as it should be,” he said.

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