Home Mobility Mobility News AVID, SPMJ affirm partnership with auto policy forum on electric vehicles

AVID, SPMJ affirm partnership with auto policy forum on electric vehicles

(L-R): AVID President Fe Perez-Agudo presents tokens of appreciation to DTI Usec. Rafaelita Aldaba and SPMJ President Pinky Colmenares.

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) and the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) joined forces to host AVID’s second economic and political briefing of 2019. This was held last August 30 at Seda Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

The two organizations invited Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba to discuss the future of the Philippine automotive industry and the budding local market for electric vehicles (EVs). 

Undersecretary Aldaba leads the DTI’s initiatives for establishing an inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in collaboration with other government agencies and businesses. She also oversees the formulation and implementation of the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), a national industry roadmap that emphasizes the importance of innovation. 

In her presentation, she discussed the i3S strategy and inclusive innovation, as well as policy directions for creating a competitive EV industry in the Philippines. According to the Undersecretary, this strategy comprises five pillars: new industries, human resource development, micro, small, and medium enterprise development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and ease of doing business. She noted that the manufacturing and assembly of electric motor components like batteries are one of the 12 priority markets for development. She also emphasized the importance of encouraging EV adoption in the Philippines to cut emissions and promote sustainable mobility. 

“Our policy is to embrace the new technology arising from Industry 4.0… We need to adapt and adopt these new technologies to improve our competitiveness to prepare for the stiff competition that our industries face,” she emphasized. For this to happen, Undersecretary Aldaba underscored, “Inclusive innovation must be at the front and center of our industrial policies.” 

She furthered that this calls for a “comprehensive and wholistic government approach” to policies and regulations governing the conduct of businesses, particularly, the ease of doing business, research and development, and innovation incentives; and a strong government-academe-industry collaboration with “focus on human resource development. We need to e-skill and upskill our workforce….to prepare for future production.” 

In her welcome remarks, AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said, “What will be the growth track for this economy? This is something important to think about. And while we won’t stop talking and discussing, we should move on to action in the interest of the industry’s sustainability. The media can amplify our voice; let’s start with a more fruitful partnership today.” 

AVID President Fe Perez-Agudo opening the joint AVID-SPMJ Forum.

After the keynote presentation, SPMJ and AVID members engaged Undersecretary Aldaba in a lively open forum, covering topics from battery tariffs to fast-tracking electronics manufacturing in the Philippines. 

Ms. Agudo was optimistic that AVID’s partnership with the SPMJ will strengthen efforts to communicate auto industry policies to the general public. The forum itself was livestreamed on the Facebook pages of Motoring Today, AutocarPH, and Gadgets Magazine. 

In hosting their second forum of the year, AVID hopes to reaffirm its commitment to sustaining inter-sector dialogue on auto industry competitiveness amidst ever-shifting local, regional, and global socio-economic backdrops. 

The first forum held last May featured experts from the academe and the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP) discussing the future of the electric vehicle industry in the country. 

Ms. Agudo hoped that AVID’s fora would strengthen the partnership between industry, government and the media. “Events like this are crucial to getting different sectors on the same page about auto policy. This won’t be the last time that AVID teams up with government and the press to communicate important issues,” the AVID president concluded. 

Seated (L-R) AVID President Fe Perez-Agudo, DTI Usec. Rafaelita Aldaba, SPMJ President Pinky Colmenares, and SPMJ Director Jenny Pineda. Standing (L-R): SPMJ members Arnel Doria, Eggay Quesada, Ron de los Reyes, Belle Alba, Ira Panganiban, Wee Gamboa, and Patrick Tulfo.