Cars program seen saving PH $16.84B
The proposed Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) is expected to generate as much as $16.84 billion— or about P757.8 billion—in savings for the country.
Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the amount represented the reduction in foreign exchange requirements of the local automotive industry within a five-year period up to 2022, during which the program is expected to be implemented.
The CARS program, she said, is envisioned to significantly reduce the import volume for completely built units (CBUs) from the current ratio of 70:30 in favor of imported cars. By 2022, sales of vehicles in the country are expected to reach 500,000 units, the bulk of which are targeted to be produced locally.
“The goal is to shift from imported to (locally produced) cars because we don’t want to have everything imported. That’s why we’re building up the domestic market to generate jobs and attract investments,” Aldaba said.
If successful, the CARS program, which will provide $600 million in support for Philippine carmakers via a new package of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, will enable the automotive manufacturing sector to contribute 2.2 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, as well generate 300,000 jobs for skilled and highly skilled workers and support development of human capital.
A successful CARS program will allow for technology transfer and absorption of new manufacturing capabilities and enable the auto supply chain to support other related sectors like shipbuilding and aerospace.
“The program would send a strong signal that the Philippines is really serious in its manufacturing revival program. It is an important signal for investors that the Philippine manufacturing sector is ready to take off,” Aldaba said.
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