Rom­mel Juan

He talks to us about the elec­tric fu­ture

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Car Culture - WORDS BY ELAINE LARA PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAIRY DARILAG

Rom­mel Juan, the busi­ness­man, is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of MD Juan, a com­pany that has been man­u­fac­tur­ing and im­port­ing bod­ies and ac­ces­sories of mil­i­tary and civil­ian jeep­neys for decades. He also heads the quick-ser­vice res­tau­rant, Bi­nalot. But the back of his busi­ness card says elec­tric ve­hi­cles. His pas­sion project.

Rom­mel Juan, the ad­vo­cate, is the pres­i­dent of the Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (eVAP). It all started with sup­ply­ing lo­cally made e-Jeep­neys that now ply Makati roads. Rom­mel’s team pushed for lo­cally made units of the Philip­pine trans­port icon. Why? Be­cause elec­tric ve­hi­cles are the fu­ture and of course, for the en­vi­ron­ment.

The dif­fi­cult part of his ad­vo­cacy, Rom­mel ad­mits, is that the mar­ket is not yet ready for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. What­ever trac­tion elec­tric ve­hi­cles had early on has died down. “Of course there was some sad­ness, pero hindi ka pwe­deng ganoon sa negosyo,” Rom­mel says. “You have to be per­sis­tent, and be­cause you’re do­ing an ad­vo­cacy, you have to be­lieve in it. Mi­nor bumps will not stop you from pro­ceed­ing.”

We ask if there were times when he felt the need to just drop his ad­vo­cacy. He tilts his head and thinks for a mo­ment. “Konting-konti lang,” he an­swers. A beat of si­lence, then he re­tracts his pre­vi­ous state­ment: “Hindi, hindi pa rin. Tu­loy-tu­loy lang,” he amends with a laugh. His ad­vice for peo­ple who want to mix busi­ness and ad­vo­cacy: “Do well, then do good.”

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