The passage of the law regulating vintage vehicles can make automobile restoration a thriving industry in the country, capitalizing on the unique and skilled craftsmanship of Filipino mechanics and paving the way for the Philippines to compete in the international market.
“The timing of its passage into law coincides with the reopening of our economy as it will create job opportunities for our Filipino mechanics, tinsmiths, craftsmen, painters, laborers that will allow them to showcase their skills and bring favorable conditions for small and medium enterprises to participate in international markets for restoration and repair of vintage vehicles. And with the many skilled workers that we have, I’m confident that we can compete globally in terms of maintaining and restoring vintage vehicles,” said Gatchalian, principal author in the Senate of Republic Act No. 11698.
“Minsan nang napatunayan ang kahusayan ng mga Pilipino sa paggawa at pagiging malikhain nang bigyan nila ng bagong anyo ang Willys Jeep na iniwan ng mga sundalong Amerikano sa bansa matapos ang World War II at nagbigay daan sa pampublikong transportasyon na tinatawag natin ngayong jeepney o jeep,” he added.
The new law also encourages tourism through the promotion of automobile tours, establishment of vintage vehicle or car museums, vintage motorsports, and similar events, according to the senator.
Under the new law, restoration shops and companies engaged in the importation of vintage vehicles for restoration in the Philippines or for exportation can avail of fiscal and tax incentives provided in the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law.
Vintage vehicles may be exported without restriction except those that have historical significance to the country such as those used by former presidents certified by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Importation, registration, and use of right-hand drive vehicles manufactured on or before December 31, 1970 or those intended for racing or other forms of motorsport will also be allowed.
Vintage car owners are barred from using them as a public utility vehicle, or for commercial purposes except for motion pictures, advertisements, pictorials, weddings, and motorcades. They can, however, take a drive across the city for leisure driving at any time of the week and be distinguished for sporting special number plates indicating their status as “vintage vehicle.”