Gov’t to extend CARS program by 5 years
MANILA -The government-established private sector advisory body said President Marcos has approved the extension of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, giving the scheme another five years to revitalize the local automotive industry.
The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) on Friday said the measure was approved following their recommendation.
“CARS has demonstrated its effectiveness and value as a high-end manufacturing operation, which has greatly helped in the creation of jobs, transfer of technology and boosted global competitiveness by supporting domestic auto manufacturing and stimulating investment,” the PSAC said.
With the extension, the government will continue to provide incentives and support for manufacturers that meet specific requirements in terms of investment, production and technology development, it said further.
Continued job creation
The CARS will also continue to provide significant employment opportunities, added PSAC.
The Philippine units of Japanese car brands Toyota and Mitsubishi—both of which are enrolled in the CARS program —have been pushing for an extension, citing difficulties they encountered during the pandemic.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. and Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. qualified for incentives under the P27-billion program, which was signed in 2015.
Under the agreement, both were required to produce locally 200,000 units of their respective entry models, the Vios for Toyota and the Mirage for Mitsubishi, in a period of six years after starting production, which began in 2018.
Based on a six-year life of CARS, the government is expected to have an estimated net revenue of P18.77 billion coming from income taxes, value-added taxes and withholding tax payments.
Aside from the extension of the CARS programs, the PSAC said it had also recommended the expansion of the Motorcycle Micro Business Program, which is aimed at supporting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises.
“While waiting for the passage of the law, [the] PSAC is seeking a nationwide expansion via executive order, which aims to create over two million jobs for habal-habal riders and provide access to transform their livelihoods, becoming platform self-entrepreneurs,” the council said.