Destination fees and surcharges imposed by international shipping lines cost the Philippine economy an estimated US$2 billion to $5 billion in losses annually, according to the joint report by the Export Development Council (EDC) and National Competitiveness Council (NCC).
This report entitled “Potentially Avoidable International Shipping Cost and Other Charges” was initiated by Dr. Enrico Basilio, Chair of the joint Committees on Transport and Logistics of EDC and NCC, and Mr. Michael Raeuber, CEO of Royal Cargo Group of Companies and former President of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP).
Highlights of the report were presented during the public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Transportation (COTr) last 17 January 2018 that tackled the Container Deposits and Related Charges imposed and collected by Agents of International Shipping Lines.
The document, based on a series of forums and a survey conducted last year, disclosed that for imports, freight accounts for an average of only 39% of the total amount paid to international shipping lines, while the so-called “destination charges” levied on Philippine importers by the carriers account for 61%.
For exports, freight costs accounts for an average of 25% of the total amount paid to international shipping lines (Carriers) while the so-called “origin charges” levied to Philippine exporters by the Carriers account for 75%.
The report said such costs undermine the country’s export competitiveness by increasing the cost of importing raw materials and intermediate goods. It noted that the hardest hit by these costs are the small exporters and importers (SMEs) because larger and regular importers and exporters are able to negotiate for better rates and terms with international shipping lines.
The report also undermines the competitiveness of domestic producers by increasing the cost of imported raw materials and intermediate products. Surcharges are also seen to make domestic consumers pay higher prices for imported products (for final consumption) since the “added” import cost is passed on to them.
COTr Chairman and Catanduanes representative Cesar Sarmiento said that with these claims and result of the report, the next hearing will be a joint meeting with the House Committee on Economic Affairs to find the best solution for the situation.
Exporters are encouraged by the Bureau of Philippine Standard (BPS) of the Department of Trade and Industry to comment on the proposed technical regulations of different countries on 151 products. The list is released by the World Trade Organization (WTO) through the WTO-TBT Enquiry Point at the BPS Standards and Conformance Portal (www.bps.dti.gov.ph). Said regulations cover Domestic and Commercial Equipment, Entertainment, Sports, Electrical Engineering, Fluid Systems and Components for General Use, Food and Beverages, Health Care Technology etc. to be exported to Brazil, Egypt, the European Union, Rwanda, the United States of America and other countries.
For more information, DTI-BPS may be reached at its email: firstname.lastname@example.org and tel. no. (632) 751.4700.
Strengthening Industry – Government-Academe Linkage towards Sustainable and Innovative Growth (SIGASIG) was this year’s theme for the 7th National Education Forum. TESDA Director General Guiling Mamondiong said that it was high time for the industry, government and academe to collaborate and work together as growth and economic accelerators in the country. He noted that by working together and in harmony, the country will be able to achieve global competitiveness. He said that TESDA will endeavour on Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for global competitiveness. He added that his agency is closely collaborating with the various industries to develop and promulgate skills they required.
On the other hand, Asst. Secretary Amuerfina Reyes informed that human capital development is integral to economic growth and development and that human capital accumulation through education and training promotes economic growth by enhancing labor productivity and by fostering technological innovation and adaptation.
This was confirmed by Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., when he said “we are in an age where sustained competitiveness in the global economy will depend on the technological or innovation-based strengths, including the development of new products, applying new technology, incorporating best practices in the management of enterprises and developing skill levels across the full spectrum of the labor force, the academe has become a critical “stakeholder” to business bringing with it valuable resources to the table.”
The forum was organized in collaboration with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Education Committee and the Export Development Council-Networking Committee on Human Resource Development (EDC-NCHRD).-Grace T. Mirasol
The Depart-ment of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) is crafting the new Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) for 2018-2022.
The PEDP 2018-2022 will be anchored on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, the 10-point socio economic agenda of the President and the existing PEDP 2015-2017. New export strategies and programs to boost export performance will also be adopted to achieve the export target of $122B-130B by the end of the term.
Essential to the development and crafting of the PEDP is the effective consultation among the stakeholders. Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) commenced last 25 August 2017 in the National Capital Region. The next FGDs will be in Cebu on 27 September 2017 and Davao on 29 September 2017.-Piercy Kieth Cezar
The Export Development Council (EDC) issued Resolution No. 04, series of 2017 adopting the revised EDC Vision which envisions “Philippines as a a competitive, intelligent, and innovation-driven exporting nation”. To reach this vision, the EDC adjusted its mission to “Nurturing an environment for exporters to thrive, enabling them to contribute to inclusive, sustainable, and equitable growth”.
The resolution also includes the adoption of EDC core values which are: trailblazing, an innovative key player in the export arena; collaborative, as a public-private partnership, consultation among relevant stakeholders is observed; and resolute which signifies EDC’s strong determination to achieve its goals.
As a response to the strategic external trade policy regime emphasized in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, EDC looked to develop the abilities of Philippine enterprises to efficiently compete in the global markets through engaging in policy reforms for trade facilitation and ease of doing business. The vision, mission, and core values serve as a framework on how the different government programs, activities and projects (PAPs) will be aligned with the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022. -Ma. Divine Grace T. Derez
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently signed Joint Department Order No. 01 of 2017 which sets guidelines in the issuance, suspension or revocation of certificates of accreditation to garment manufacturers, exporters and sub-contractors who would want to avail preferential tariff under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The said DO also creates a Workers’ Rights Review Committee.
The DTI- Accrediting Board through the Board of Investments- Incentives Administration Service shall issue the Certificate of Accreditation provided that the applicant complies with the prescribed labor standards. The accreditation shall be mandatory and has a validity period of three (3) years from its issuance. An applicant whose accreditation is suspended may request to lift the suspension after three (3) months. Accreditation that had been revoked may reapply after six (6) months.
The Workers’ Rights Review Committee will be chaired by DOLE. The Committee shall conduct an audit of the applicant’s compliance with labor standards.- Ma. Divine Grace T. Derez
Exporters are advised to use the new Travel Tax Exemption Form starting September 2017. Said form can be downloaded at www.edc.net.ph/travel-tax-exemption
The Technical Working Group of Executive Order (EO) 589, recently approved the new Travel Tax Exemption Application Form. An additional feature will help exporters to find new buyers through the online business matching system of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau. Exporters are encouraged to register/ update their company profile thru http://businessmatching.dti.gov.ph, for real time online business matching of exporters with foreign buyers.
EO 589 Exempts Exporters from paying the travel tax when joining international trade fairs, exhibitions, selling missions, conferences, among others. For queries, please contact Ms. Mafe Largo through telephone no. 465.3300 local 303 or email at email@example.com. – Marife G. Largo
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has transformed its Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) to be the Innovation Council.
One initiative of the Innovation Council is the Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Support Program that aims to improve their productivity and competitiveness through consultations and trainings.
The Council is also developing a new program for startups. It has called for Proposals for Startups Research Grant. The proposals should be geared towards translating early stage technologies into market ready products to overcome R&D roadblocks, strengthen intellectual property, establish initial market traction and to refine business model.
The Council is also eyeing proposals that will provide funding support to graduate students and faculty members who will conduct research projects directed towards developing emerging technologies and exploring innovations in the areas of materials research, electronics, and applied physics.
For other programs and further details, visit the DOST-PCIEERD website at http://pcieerd.dost.gov.ph/ – Piercy Kieth Cezar
Strengthening Industry – Government-Academe Linkage towards Sustainable and Innovative Growth (SIGASIG) is this year’s theme for the 7th National Education Forum slated on August 31, 2017, from 8:00 AM to 5 PM.
The main objective of the forum is to strengthen collaboration between and among industry-academe and government to attain employment generation, labor efficiency, global competitiveness and sustainable and innovative economic growth. It is also intended to strengthen complementation and productive partnership between the business sectors, academe and government for a well-established and sustainable industry-government-academe linkage (IGAL); promote IGAL collaboration and partnership as a model of public policy; document and monitor IGAL activities as well as lessons learned and best practices; generate, adapt and disseminate knowledge and information of the benefits of a well- established IGAL, and foster a healthy and vibrant relationship with industry, universities as well as the government in changing the economic landscape of the country through education reforms.
The said event will be attended by the academe, government, industry people and practitioners and collaborators of Industry-Government-Academe Linkages.
EDC encourages interested parties to attend. Venue is at at the 3/F, BA Securities hall, Commerce and Industry Bldg., No. 1030 Campus Avenue, cor. Park Avenue, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
For more information contact Ms. Grace Morella at telephone number 846-8196 local 107.- Grace T. Mirasol
The Philippines has ratified the Protocol on the Legal Framework (PLF) to implement the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). The instrument of ratification was signed by the President on 28 June 2017. The ASW is an electronic gateway that provides seamless and simplified information among ASEAN member states.
This means that the Philippines can now electronically receive and send certificates of origin under the ASEAN Trade in Goods agreement (ATIGA Form D), the document needed to avail of the preferential tariff agreement.
Other cross-border documents will also be exchanged under the ASW Gateway in the future. With this, it will facilitate trade between the Philippine and ASEAN neighbors.
Eventually, the ASW connection will help the Philippines to increase its competitiveness in terms of ease of doing business (EODB), and will increase the transparency of cargo processing by providing more accurate, timely, and cost-efficient exchange of information.- Asnia R. Bayabao & Aira Angel S. Baleos