July 19, 2019
The Philippines is stepping up its sustainable transport efforts with the planned November launch of the “Piloting of Electric Mobility in the Philippines” project that will see the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) begin package deliveries using electric 2&3-wheelers in Pasig City, Metro Manila.
At a roundtable discussion on July 19 for the “Integrating Electric 2&3-Wheelers into Existing Urban Transport Modes” project, organized by Clean Air Asia, Pasig City Transportation and Development Management Office, and UN Environment, Philippine stakeholders gathered to discuss the development and implementation of the pilot electric mobility project, which will support the momentum for the shift to electric 2&3-wheelers in the mail delivery industry.
On hand were more than 40 representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), the Pasig City Government, academia, the non-governmental sector, and the EV industry. The meeting also provided a venue to present technical studies on characterizing the 2&3-wheeler fleet in the Philippines, the impact on electricity demand, and electric vehicle policies and manufacturing issues and challenges in the country.
“Collaboration and consultation with key partners such as academic and research institutions and industry are central to the support we aim to provide to the government in realizing our goal of integrating electric 2&3-wheelers into urban traffic and of ensuring these smaller modes could travel safely,” said Clean Air Asia Deputy Executive Director Glynda Bathan-Baterina.
At present, up to 60 percent of emissions in Pasig are attributable to the transportation sector, with a significant contribution from urban freight and deliveries. The pilot project provides an opportunity to promote and bolster the sectoral integration of e-bikes. UN Environment Programme Officer Bert Fabian said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Chinese EV manufacturer TAILG, which is donating 50 electric 2&3-wheelers for the Philippines’ project. The project’s potential is huge – ultimately a cleaner and more sustainable delivery system may be realized.
Anton Siy from Pasig’s City Transportation and Development Management Office said infrastructure was an important consideration in rolling out electromobility. He presented Pasig’s plan for redesigning 2-wheeler lanes and installing soft traffic humps and barriers on the city’s roads, and highlighted the need for local governments in Metro Manila to collaborate in developing a more responsive network of bicycle/2-wheeler lanes and walkways.
There are currently 45 Philippine National Standards related to electric vehicles, but only a few cover 2&3-wheelers. As part of the government’s commitment to improve electric mobility, Senior Transportation Development Officer Ismael Luoang said the LTO would be issuing updated guidelines for the classification of EVs.
Dr Jose Bienvenido Biona from the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines said that compared with other ASEAN countries, the Philippines lagged in the local manufacturing of EVs, but there was support and experience from local 3-wheeler and e-jeepney companies that have been promoting electric mobility in the Philippines in the past decade. The country also has mineral resources such as nickel that are essential for electric mobility. At the 7th Philippine Electric Mobility Summit held on July 17-18, various government agencies led by the DTI and DOTr committed to support the electric mobility industry.
Antonio Oseo from PHLPost said potential also existed for expansion beyond the pilot project, which would redefine mail delivery in Manila and ultimately become part of their day-to-day operations.
This activity is part of the global project “Integrating Electric 2&3-Wheelers into Existing Urban Transport Modes in Developing and Transitional Countries” implemented by UN Environment in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI).