The 3rd Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit

The 3rd Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit was held from 27 to 28 February 2014 at the MERALCO Multi-Purpose Hall, Ortigas, Pasig City. Key players from the local electric vehicle industry as well as Senator Bam Aquino graced the event. Our team was part of the organizing committee.

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Electric vehicles are seen as the environmental-friendly alternative to gas-powered vehicles as they do not use fossil fuels and thus do not excrete smoke. They are also powered through geothermal and hydropower plants and even solar-powered chargers. A tropical country like the Philippines need electric vehicles to reduce air pollution and high temperatures in the cities. There just has to be a concerted effort between the private sector (EV manufacturers and distributors) and the public sector (concerned implementing bodies) to make it happen.

What struck me about the summit was that several of the speakers were women. Interestingly, electric cars were initially manufactured and marketed to women at the turn of the 19th century because it wasn’t noisy and would fit women’s perceived prim and proper image. Electric vehicles have also come far from being vehicles borne out of gender discrimination. If I go by the presence of women leaders in the summit, then it looks like that it’s an automobile industry wherein women would feel comfortable engaging in, as the discussions concern the environment and thus are gender-neutral.

The electric vehicle industry is an industry that seeks to expand small-business livelihood opportunities through widened use as a public transport, includes both men and women and could even involve the youth, and is very friendly to the environment. It is a sustains better social, environmental and business systems and so I’m hoping to see it flourish in the coming years.


Digitized Philippine Government Services

I am not exactly a fan of the President nor his people in Malacañang. Yet this does not mean see that this government is a wholly inefficient one. There are some agencies such as the Departments of Tourism, Education and Foreign Affairs, the National Statistics Office, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Metro Manila Development Authority, that are doing their jobs well.

The new tourism campaign and the K+12 educational system are two programs of this current government that I find great, as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts. The increased digitization of public services by the DFA, the NSO, the POEA and the MMDA is also something that I find commendable. These agencies followed the technological turn the Department of Trade and Industry took in 2007 when the agency launched its online business name registration system.

The DFA’s online registration system for new passports and passport renewals is very easy and simple to use. Through this service, you can schedule your appointment and fill up your application form online and have it sent to your e-mail address. The complete set of requirements and guidelines can also be found on the webpage. Once you get to the DFA’s new office, you’ll have to verify your schedule and then proceed to apply for or renew your passport. You can also have the passport delivered to your home or office for convenience for just PhP120.00. Because of this online registration system, the process of renewing my passport only took an hour whereas it used to take me six hours before.

Both the NSO and POEA also have online processes, with the former offering the delivery of certificates (birth, marriage, death and no marriage certificates) to your choice doorstep and the latter offering the processing of Overseas Exit Clearance for returning migrant workers). All three services are made possible by Pilipinas Teleserv.

The MMDA’s website and use of social media networks have brought the agency’s efficiency level into new heights. On the website, there is a digitized traffic information system, which can also be downloaded as an app for Apple phones. Updates are posted every few minutes on its Twitter account and every few hours on its Facebook account. Citizens’ queries are also answered, and the best part about it is that the MMDA answers citizens’ questions on what routes are more traffic or what they should take.

These websites show that our government is slowly but surely increasing their standards of service, and that thankfully this government’s promise of change is somewhat being fulfilled. Hopefully more agencies follow suit!

Here are their websites, in case you might need them:

DFA Passport Application Renewal:
NSO Certificate Delivery:
POEA Overseas Exit Clearance Processing:

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