By Ivan Rey Tan
Repost from SunStar Cebu

CEBU CITY (Jan. 6, 2023) — The private sector will donate about 67 electric vehicles (e-vehicles) worth a total of P300 million to the Cebu City Government, enabling the latter to save a big chunk of the P450 million it would have spent on e-vehicle purchases.

The Cebu City Government had planned to purchase 100 e-vehicles to complement its current fleet of “green buses” for better transportation services.

Councilor Joel Garganera. (PIO/File)

Councilor Joel Garganera, chairman of the committee on environment, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2022, that every unit of the 30-seater e-vehicle is priced at P4.5 million.

This brings the total cost of the project to P450 million.

But Garganera said the city government has received donations from a Cebuano businessman and has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the vehicle supplier, which allowed the City to save money.

Businessman Iñaki Aboitiz has donated P50 million, the Aboitiz Group has pledged P100 million, while the e-vehicle provider Global Electric Transport (GET) will shoulder P150 million, said Garganera.

With the private sector taking care of P300 million worth of the e-vehicles, the Cebu City Government itself will have to spend only P150 million for the purchase of the remaining 33 e-vehicles under the project.

The councilor also disclosed that the Visayan Electric Company will absorb the cost of electricity that will be used in charging the vehicles for two years.

In his facebook post, Councilor Garganera said the electric vehicles would also be deployed during the Sinulog to ferry passengers for free. He said details will be posted soon. (Photo: Councilor Garganera’s FB post)

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu Friday, Visayan Electric confirmed that it is supporting the city government’s project in deploying e-vehicles.

“The distribution company is still studying how to best minimize the cost of electricity for the buses, and it assures its customers that the cost of Visayan Electric’s commitment will not be passed on to its customers,” read a portion of Visayan Electric’s statement.

Aside from helping the environment by not emitting pollution, Garganera said, the acquisition of the e-vehicles will also reduce the City’s expenses for fuel and maintenance of traditional buses.

He explained that the green buses of City Hall–so called because of their color and not because they are environment-friendly–have an average fuel cost of P27 per kilometer, while the electricity for the e-vehicles will cost only P4.50 per kilometer.

The donation will greatly help the City as it no longer have to set aside P450 million for the purchase of electric vehicles. (Photo: Councilor Garganera’s FB post)

“Just imagine how much gas we can save, considering also that we are not in the position to control the prices of fuel. We have been a victim of the high cost of fuel products,” said Garganera.

The Philippines imports most of its fuel requirements, making it vulnerable to international price movements and foreign currency fluctuations.

Garganera added that GET Philippines will also provide the technical assistance and maintenance works for the vehicles since this will be the first time that the City will operate this type of vehicle.

Just imagine how much gas we can save, considering also that we are not in the position to control the prices of fuel. We have been a victim of the high cost of fuel products.

Councilor Joel Garganera

Currently, the City operates a fleet of 19 green buses being used for various transportation and logistics services.

The addition of the e-vehicles to its vehicle fleet will allow the city government to widen its services to the public, especially to commuters who have a hard time finding public utility vehicles late in the evening, said Garganera.

Garganera further said the proposed acquisition has already been endorsed to Mayor Michael Rama and the latter’s approval will then signal the commencement of the procurement process.#