The Energy Department said it scaled down its loan from the Asian Development Bank to P1.73 billion for the electric tricycle program from the original project cost of P21.672 billion, an official said Thursday.
Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III said from the original 100,000 e-trike units covered by the ADB loan, the department would only push through with 3,000 units.
“Considering the challenges of the implementation due to the original project design as contained in the loan agreement, to which the DoE is mandated to follow, the secretary through the DoF [Department of Finance] requested the Neda-ICC [National Economic Development Authority-Investment Coordinating Council] for partial loan cancellation,” Pulido said.
He said despite the many challenges faced by the project from previous administrations now nearing the end of its five-year loan term period, the department would move to showcase the potential use of clean and diversified energy technologies through the e-trike.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi moved to partially cancel the loan contract last year as the department wanted to revisit all options available in view of significant flaws in the project’s design, including the choice of just one model and pricing concerns.
Since the approval of the e-Trike project by Neda in June 2013, recorded investments in e-trike manufacturing and support reached P500 million and generated 14,840 jobs as of the end of 2016, according to the Board of Investments and Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines.
The Neda-ICC took note of the DoE proposal in March on the revised project implementation, including the additional deployment options and arrangements.
Pulido said Neda approved the lower loan from ADB “based on an ad referendum on Dec. 21, 2016.”
He said department decided on 3,000 e-trike units as a sufficient quantity to demonstrate the viability of the technology.
“Sustainability dictates that the appropriate eco-system be in place to support the e-trike beyond deployment or at the point of sale. The terms of the contract of the winning bidder under the project include after-sales support and warranty. This sends a clear and strong signal to the public to make the switch to e-trikes,” Pulido said.