Government agencies mandated to implement programs for export development

In a Presidential Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 62 approving the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022, concerned government agencies are mandated to implement their respective programs, activities and projects (PAPs) relevant to the PEDP.

Specifically, these agencies “shall implement policies, programs, and action plans to boost export growth and ensure the free flow of goods, in accordance with the Philippine Export Development Plan and Philippine Development Plan (PDP)”.

The “PEDP is synchronized with the period of PDP to harmonize the implementation of programs and to the continuity and consistency of policies and innovative strategies for boosting export growth and increasing job opportunities for Filipinos”.

The Department of Trade, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Health, Finance, Information and Communication Technology, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Transportation, Tourism, Labor and Employment, Tourism, TESDA, CHED, BSP and NEDA are among the agencies mandated to strengthen the implementation of the Plan.

On 26 June 2019, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the MC No. 62 approving the PEDP 2018-2022 and directing the foregoing agencies to ensure its implementation. PKC

DTI, DOTR, DOF to issue JAO regulating the international shipping charges

In a recent pronouncement, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that the Departments of Trade and Industry, Transportation and Finance will issue the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) that will regulate local charges imposed by international shipping lines.

The draft JAO was already signed by the Trade Secretary and still need to be co-signed by the Secretaries of Finance and Transportation.

While the JAO is still to be signed, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has already issued orders resulting to normalizing utilization rate of container depots in Manila ports back to 70%.

Specifically, the BOC issued Customs Memorandum Order 13-2019 in February which “disallowed brokers, importers, truckers and other port stakeholders to return empty containers within the premises of Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Manila (POM) beginning February, until further notice”.

On the other hand, the PPA issued a directive stating “all importers, consignees, owners, and shippers of containers already cleared by BOC are notified to withdraw said containers within fifteen (15) days and shall be compelled to transfer these containers to a designated port or inland container depot at their cost”.

Hence, this facilitated the transfer of overstaying containers to Batangas and Subic Ports with the cooperation of the port operators.

International Shipping Lines, for their part, are being required to promptly evacuate empty containers from the Manila ports within the prescribed period given by BOC, either by regular ship calls or sweeper vessels.

Secretary Lopez also assured the government is addressing the infrastructure needs of the country with its aggressive infrastructure program. MJAA

Develop domestic airports for sustainable tourism and trade 

The Department of Tourism recognizes the importance of developing domestic airports in improving competitiveness and enhancing sustainable growth both in tourism and trade. It is also highlighted that the airports are not just gateways but more of economic growth drivers. This objective is included in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).

AnchorDuring the 4th Annual Philippine Airport Modernization and Expansion Summit, DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, Jr. shared that the tourism sector generated more than 5 million employment and 12.2% contribution to GDP in 2017. Initial data shows that there are about $ 8 billion income generated from tourist arrivals in 2018.

The development of secondary gateways and provincial airports is one of the advocacies of the Export Development Council. By doing so, congestion in the capital, especially in the immediate and medium term, will be reduced, which in turn will mean lower travel cost for passengers.

To date, there are only 19 night-rated airports in the country. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the additional airports with Airfield Lighting System (ALS) are the following: Bohol/ Panglao Principal Airport, Subic Bay International Airport, Tuguegarao Principal Airport, and Naga Principal Airport.

The airports to be provided with ALS this year (2019) and currently being processed are the following: Cotabato Principal Airport, Cauayan Principal Airport, Dipolog Principal Airport and Pagadian Principal Airport.

The other recommendations for the domestic airport development are: (1) Modernizing the infrastructure and facilities of the domestic airports to accommodate direct flights to the major gateway of the Philippines, (2) Funding prioritization for the upgrading of domestic airports to provided night-landing and all-weather facilities for a more efficient operation and to emphasize safety improvements to meet International Civil Aviation Organization  Standards And Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPS), (3) Development of airports through Public-Private Partnership, and (4) Development of a coherent long-term investment plan for the airports.

CAAP assured of its continuous work to make more airports in the country night-rated. Equipping airports with night-rated capabilities will enable these facilities to serve more passengers. MJAA

Tourism as a pillar of inclusive growth

The Department of Tourism (DOT) in collaboration with Go Negosyo and other partners like the  ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Department of Foreign Affairs, Tourism Board of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry , conducted the country’s First National Tourism Summit last 02 May 2019 held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The summit focused on how to create a more integrated tourism industry not just in the Philippines, but across the ASEAN region. The goal is to achieve sustainable island tourism that will contribute to the socio-economic growth of the region. Speakers and experts from different countries shared their insights and best practices on how to achieve this goal.

As such, the country’s tourism industry was identified as one of the pillars for greater inclusive growth. The DOT is confident that there will be around 8.2 million tourists this year; a 15% increase from last year’s 7.1. million tourists. This signals an increased demand for products and services, which can be supplied by our entrepreneurs from different sectors, thus, contributing livelihood and sustainable income for more Filipinos.

As an inclusive sector, tourism extends not just to the services provided by airlines and travel agencies, but includes other industries such as culinary, retail, transportation, logistics, medical and agriculture. As tourism booms, more and more businesses can flourish and cater to the growing needs of travelers. Indeed, a boost in tourism is a boost in our economy- more tourists, more of the much needed revenue for the economy.

Hence, all kinds of businesses, whether micro, small or medium will gain from the sector’s inclusivity, including those in far flung tourist spots in the country. More diverse products, services as well as culture will be offered from these beautiful places in and around the country. GTM

ADVISORY:

COMELEC emphasized the last day of filing for Certificate of Authority to Transport Chemicals being 29 May 2019.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) reminded entities engaged in the transport of chemicals that it will accept applications for Certificate of Authority to Transport (CA-TT) chemicals until 29 May 2019 which is the last day of filing of applications.

The CATT must be secured by said entities following the implementation of nationwide gun ban covering the period 13 January 2019 to 12 June 2019.

The reminder aims to prevent any delay in the clearance of shipments at the border or transportation of chemicals from 30 May to 12 June 2019, after the deadline of submission of applications. The COMELEC committed to process and issue CA-TT within 10 days from submission of complete documentary requirements. For the public’s guidance. -ARB

BOC to implement ASEAN Electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to implement the ASEAN electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO) following the issuance of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO15-2019) which provides guidelines on the operational procedures in implementing e-CO.

The Order was issued pursuant to the Operational Certification Procedure (OCP) of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and in compliance with the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). It aims to facilitate the application, processing, issuance, and transmission of e-CO for export products and the receipt of e-CO for imported products by utilizing the TradeNet system (tradenet.gov.ph).

The e-CO refers to the ATIGA Form D which is an international trade document attesting that goods in a particular export shipment were wholly obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed in a particular country. It will be transmitted electronically between ASEAN Member States (AMS) through the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).

Meanwhile, the TradeNet will cover the functions of the Philippine National Single Window (NSW). It will serve as an automated permit, licensing,  and clearance system integrated into one platform for 66 Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) and 10 economic zones.

Application and Submission of e-CO to ASEAN Members States (AMS)

To access the TradeNet system, exporters and importers shall create TradeNet Account and  company profile with their respective usernames and passwords. Once the Pre-Evaluation Report (PER) of export product is completed by the authorized Customs personnel, it shall be uploaded to the TradeNet system, along with the List of Pre-Evaluated Goods of each newly approved applications for reference by all ports.

The exporters must then submit their application for outbound e-CO through the TradeNet system and attach all documentary requirements by uploading it to the system. If approved, the exporters will receive an email containing a downloadable and printable file for the e-CO. Otherwise, the Exporter/s will be informed of the reason for disapproval through email and may file another application for e-CO.Since the full electronic sharing of e-CO among AMS is not yet operational and while the AMS are addressing all technical failures, “the Exporter shall download then print the e-ATIGA Form D, place his or her signature in the appropriate space, and submit the system-generated ATIGA Form D to the Bureau (BOC) for manual execution of signature and seal”.

The Export Coordination Division of the BOC is mandated to submit the approved e-CO to the ASW Gateway. The ASW will in turn send the e-CO to the importing AMS, while the latter must notify the BOC of the utilization status of the e-CO.

Pilot Testing and Full Implementation of e-CO
To commence the implementation of the Order, a Pilot Testing on processing and issuance of e-CO using the TradeNet platform shall be conducted in all ports and sub-ports. During the live testing, the Exporters are required to apply for the issuance of CO both electronically throughtradenet.gov.ph and manually using the Paper ATIGA Form D. The Order explains that it is a precautionary measure in case the outbound e-ATIGA Form D fails to transmit through the ASW Gateway to the receiving AMS.

The Deputy Commissioner for Management Information System and Technology Group is authorized to declare the start of full implementation of the ASEAN e-CO. As such, no outbound and inbound Paper ATIGA Form D shall be processed and accepted, except for valid circumstances which include system downtime and loss of network connectivity exceeding two hours.-ARB

PHILEXPORT-Pampanga Chapter endorses Travel Tax Exemption for Region 3 Exporters

PHILEXPORT Region 3 (Pampanga Chapter) now endorses Travel Tax Exemption (TTE) applications of its members in Region 3 (Central Luzon). To facilitate the processing of TTE applications, the Technical Working Group on EO 589 approved the request of PHILEXPORT-NATIONAL for the additional signatories of its chapter in Pampanga.  PHILEXPORT-R03 now endorses TTE applications directly to the Export Development Council which monitors and oversees the implementation of the Executive Order.

Exporters who will travel abroad to participate in international trade fairs and exhibitions, promotion and marketing activities of Philippine export products  can avail the  TTE incentives under EO 589.

Region 3 Exporters may download TTE application form at the EDC website (www.edc.net.ph) and submit  to PHILEXPORT R03 at Deco Central, Bldg., N3679 C.M. Recto Highway, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Telephone numbers (045)599.6214/ 599.5170  Mobile No. 0917.6214758 or email at philexportr3@yahoo.com

NWPC  focuses on people- centric technologies & innovation  for MSMEs

As the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 gain momentum, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),  focused its 2018  National Productivity Conference on  people-centric technologies & innovation for MSMEs.  DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunsad, III pointed out that  the on-going concern on inflation can also be addressed by improving the productivity of producers which will influence prices.  As such, he emphasized the need to embrace new technologies, but put people in control of technology.
Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the NWPC as she said that human capital is crucial for innovation and entrepreneurship.  DTI’s approach to implement Industry 4.0  is through the Inclusive Industrial Innovation Strategy  that aims to link the manufacturing sector with agriculture and services. Such links can be realized when there are regional inclusive innovation centers where government, research agencies, academe and industry collaborate for improved competitiveness.
Asian Development Bank’s Director of Development Economics and Indicators Dr. Rana Hasan confirms that technology increases incomes, contrary to the fear of many that  jobs will be  lost with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). He said that AI cannot be stopped as it is already here. Education, training and social protection such as unemployment insurance are necessary to cope with these new technologies. (EZM)

DTI implements 7Ms for competitive MSMEs

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council  implements the 7Ms- Mindset Change, Mastery, Mentoring, Money, Machine, Market Access, and Models of Business, a framework which were introduced and supported during the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) meeting last year. MSMEs shall be assisted to develop a positive Mindset, to gain Mastery of their business, to provide quality business Mentorship, to facilitate access to Money, to improve access to domestic and international Markets, to provide quality Machines, and to be exposed to innovative Models of business.

To achieve the strategic goals specified in the MSME Development Plan 2017-2022, the MSMED Council has laid anchor programs to be implemented. These programs and other initiatives were presented during the National MSME Summit held last 10 July 2018 in Clark Pampanga. The summit was attended by entrepreneurs, industry leaders, enablers and other stakeholders nationwide. President Rodgrigo Duterte also graced the event to show his administration’s continuing support to MSMEs.

Bureau of Customs to form multi-agency unit to address port issues

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña announced that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will create a multi-agency body composed of government agencies and port stakeholders and users that will address issues hounding the private sector.

Various stakeholders discussed the recommendations and action plans for the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), the Anti-overloading Act, port congestion, turnaround time of trucks, return of empty containers, and issues with international shipping lines.

On TABS, the web-based booking platform for trucks at Manila International Container Port and Port of Manila, port users to extend the early arrival margin to three hours, and improve the system to promote transparency.

On Anti-overloading, stakeholders recommended the extension of moratorium period of 6 months on the implementation of the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for Code 12-2 and Code 12-3. The stakeholders views that the law is inconsistent and not implemented properly because of redundancy of weighing exercises. It was proposed that there should be a mandatory weighing of laden containers prior to exit from the yards. Meanwhile, for long term solution, stakeholders recommend the amendment of the law’s implementing rules and regulations to increase the maximum allowable GVW.

On port congestion, multi-sectoral body is proposed to determine and declare any port congestion. Also, for overstaying of empty containers, stakeholders recommended to shorten the allowable stay of empties from 90 days to 60 days.

Other important recommendations are the following: (1) International Shipping Lines to put up or lease their own depots outside Metro Manila; (2) PEZA to possibly dedicate a space and designate a facility for the empty containers near to them; (3) International Shipping Lines to remove the unwarranted charges by specifying absolute container depot fees when returning empty containers; (4) BOC to initiate the implementation of rules and regulations to regulate the shipping lines.

To address the high cost of origin and destination charges of international shipping lines, the Export Development Council (EDC) together with other stakeholders endorsed a draft bill entitled “An act establishing guidelines for the application of local charges (origin and destination fees) imposed by international shipping lines to comply with existing laws and international standards (INCOTERMS)” to the House of Representatives Committee on Economic Affairs.