New route for Mindanao Exporters Promoted 

Exporters from Mindanao are encouraged to explore the Davao-Manado route for transporting their goods and products, specifically food products (both fresh and processed) for a more cost-effective and shorter route (from 5 weeks to 13 days). This was presented during a meeting hosted by Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia, Amb. Leechiong T. Wee, as both countries – the Philippines and Indonesia are also trying to explore ways to resume the Davao-GenSan-Bitung route with a Manila-based shipping company.

The new route is being used and touted as an express line for direct to market shipping route by the Reefer Express Line, Inc., a new player that plans to begin operating the new route within the first half of this year. But operations will commence depending on the negotiations between the shipping company and exporters from both countries.

The shipping company also revealed its plan to serve the new route with additional calls on other ports not only in Indonesia but also in Malaysia and Brunei en route to Singapore. However, the company said that they have yet to discuss the final details with other shippers from the Philippines, Indonesia and other players from Malaysia.

Moreover, the new route was considered a priority of the current administration and the Indonesian government, citing that Manado is the main gateway of Indonesia to the Philippines. Hence, the call for exporters to explore the new route and the services of Reefer Express Line, Inc. – GTM

Digital Design: innovative marketing strategies for Exporters

Exporters were encouraged by Canva Philippines to use the Canva app for graphic marketing design. Resource speakers from Canva Philippines lectured on graphic design basics and application of its design principles on how to strengthen brand style and social media presence. Canva is a free application useful to exporters in developing innovative marketing strategies to better connect with their customers locally and in the global market.

Said strategies were discussed during the recent information session on Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP) held last 30 January 2020 organized by the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). PECP is a regular monthly forum organized by EMB to boost the competitiveness stance of domestic manufacturers and exports through seminars, information sessions, and activities that give them insights on productivity, innovation, and updates on export trends.

For further inquiries, you may contact Canva Philippines through email at tin@canva.com or thru mobile no. +63 9453.228296. For more updates on PECP seminars, training and info-session you may contact email thru exponet@dti.gov.ph or at telephone no. (02) 8465.3300 local 107.-MGL

Exporters to benefit from Tradeline Philippines

Tradeline Philippines is a platform beneficial to exporters for it is an integrated export information system that provides regular trade statistics reports, market and product information, supplier and buyer databases, online business matching with foreign buyers and other trade-related information through the web. Exporters are encouraged to register and update company profile thru http://businessmatching.dti.gov.ph.

Tradeline Philippines is the business intelligence platform of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) that aims to provide timely and relevant information and assistance to existing and potential exporters to enhance their capabilities and competitiveness as suppliers of quality goods and services to global markets.

For further inquiries please call EMB-Knowledge Process Division through telephone no. 465.3300 local 105 or email at embkpd@dti.gov.ph. –MGL

Battling Congestion with Intelligent Transportation System 

During his Government Address on The Roads and Traffic Expo, Chairman Danilo Lim of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) talked about the importance of transportation as one of the key sector in our fast growing economy.

Classified as a Mega City by the United Nation, Metro Manila with its 13 million populations and still growing is seen to worsen and affect the current transportation and road system. Based on the Department of Public Ways and Highways (DPWH), the road system in Metro Manila only increased 7% in the past 10 years, having only 1167km from 1087km back in 2008. In relation, the recent study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Metro Manila ranked as the most congested city among the 278 developing cities in Asia. Placing first in the “Relative Congestion in ASEAN cities with populations greater than 5 Million” using the average of 1.24, Metro Manila get an average of 1.5.

To battle congestion and related transportation problems, the Philippine government in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) came up with the Intelligent Transport System, a 5 year comprehensive traffic management plan that aims to complete the data driven analysis of the current traffic structure in Metro Manila with the goal to improve the mobility, connectivity, and safety of Filipinos.

JICA allocated 7% out of their USD 1 trillion outstanding loan for the Philippine alone. JICA and the Philippines currently have 27 ongoing projects totaling USD 15 Billion and 16 out of the 27 ongoing projects are related and allocated for transportation sector alone; with an estimate of amount of Php 375 Billion commitment.

With this assistance from JICA as well as the “Build Build Build” program by the current administration, MMDA Chairman Lim is positive they could “Battle” the Metro Manila congestion. – KJC

2019 National Export Congress: SAVE THE DATE

The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Export Development Council (EDC) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) cordially invites all exporters, Small and Medium Enterprises, Academe, International Organizations and relevant stakeholders  to  save the date and participate in this year’s National Export Congress (NEC) 2019 on 06 December 2019, 8:00 -4:00 PM at the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex, Pasay City, with the theme “DRIVING EXPORTS THROUGH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION”.

The Congress will showcase how the government will address the challenges brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and how the private sector and businesses, specifically the export sector will respond to such challenges to meet their global market demands using digital tools. –GTM

Instrument of accession to the Istanbul Convention for ATA Carnet awaits President’s approval 

The instrument of Philippine accession to the Customs Convention on ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods or the Istanbul Convention is now at the Office of the President for his signature.

The ATA Carnet system is an international scheme that will allow temporary admission and tax-free and duty-free importation of commercial samples, professional equipment and articles for presentation or use in trade fairs, shows, and exhibitions without customs formalities.

The system will also allow traders to use ATA Carnet secured by an international guarantee system. The ATA Carnet is a single document of goods that will pass through several customs territories and will be valid up to one (1) year. It will foster free movement of goods between countries, thus saving costs and time in clearing goods at the border. Failure to re-export all goods listed on the Carnet will result in the payment of applicable duties.

The Department of Finance (DOF), in a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) dated 8 August 2019, requested the preparation of the Instrument of Accession subject to certain conditions. It also underscored that the Convention will “help promote efficiency, consistent with the Administration’s policy of promoting ease of doing business and efficient service delivery.”

Relevant government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tariff Commission signified their support by submitting their respective Certificates of Concurrence (COC) to the DFA through the DOF.

Once signed by the President, Senate ratification through the concurrence of at least two-thirds of its members is constitutionally required. The Convention provides that it shall enter into force three months after the Philippine has deposited its Instrument of Accession.

The implementation of the ATA Carnet system will support the Office of the President Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 27 which directs “all concerned agencies to strengthen the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan and involving other agencies in the development of the export sector”. Specifically, MC 27 mandates the DFA to advocate the Philippine Accession to the Istanbul Convention.- ARB

Exporters continue to benefit travel tax exemption thru EO 589

The Export Development Council (EDC) in partnership with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) continuously supports Philippine Exporters by giving travel tax exemption incentives through Executive Order (EO) 589 for the past 12 years.

Said EO only exempts exporters joining international trade fairs, exhibitions, selling missions, conferences, trade negotiations, seminars and other promotion activities, from paying the travel tax amounting to Php 1,620 for economy class and Php 2,700 for business class.

Since 2007,  EDC has endorsed 13,174 Travel Tax Exemptions (TTEs) applications to TIEZA which issues the exemption certificates. From the total TTEs issued 87% are for joining international trade fairs, 10% for outbound business and selling missions and  3%  for other participation i.e. conferences, seminars and promotions activities.

Exporters are still encouraged to avail of this government support.  The TTE application form can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph/downloads/TTEform.pdf.

For other concerns and information on tax exemptions not covered by EO 589, you may call TIEZA at telephone numbers 249.5900 locals 641/646/643.- MGL

BSP amends regulations on Foreign Exchange transactions

BSP amends regulations on Foreign Exchange transactions

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) conducted a briefing on the amendments to its Manual of Regulations on Foreign Exchange (FX) Transactions last 06 August 2019 at the BSP Assembly Hall in Manila.

Deputy Director Jodeth Niña Yeung discussed in details the recent amendments to BSP’s Manual of FX Regulations. Highlighting that these new policy reforms made the country’s FX regulatory framework further liberalized. In fact, according to Chinn-Ito Financial Index (2016), the Philippines’ FX flow openness index remains higher compared to ASEAN neighbors: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Because of BSP’s facilitative and more liberalized regulations, FX transactions are now more streamlined and simplified.

The amended FX regulations include the following major reforms:

  1. Lifting of prior BSP approval requirement for purely private sector FX loans. Henceforth, companies need only to register.
  2. Replacement of a positive list to a general policy requirement for loan purposes that can be funded with proceeds of foreign currency loans. FX transactions need only be legitimate, not contrary to laws, regulations, public order, public safety, or public policy.
  3. Lifting of BSP registration for certain short-term private sector loans, provided these are duly reported to BSP.
  4. Lifting of the USD 60,000.00 Daily limit on FX sale by depository banks for the balance of peso deposit accounts of non-residents.
  5. Migration to electronic submission of supporting documents, from previous hard copy requirement.
  6. Broadened coverage of inward investment transactions from previous two (2) categories: foreign direct investments and portfolio investments, to three (3) new categories, namely: instruments issued by residents, non-residents, and other forms of investments.
  7. Expansion of the list of banks allowed to register investments on behalf of BSP.
  8. Provision of a grace period of one (1) year from effectivity of the implementing Circular to file applications for registration of investments, regardless of the date of funding.

BSP underscores that these reforms are significant leaps that will allow foreign investors, public and private entities, and overseas Filipinos to have more flexibility in managing their foreign currency transactions and investments.

However, BSP despite its continuing efforts to further liberalize FX regulations, the banks may still adopt internal policies and are expected to exercise due diligence in compliance with these amendments. –EPV

NEF speakers dispels human labor displacement myth by robots

The 9th National Education Forum (NEF) was held last 29 August 2019 at Hotel Jen, Pasay City. Attended by distinguished speakers and panelists from the government, academe, and industry, the forum discussed the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in business, work and our daily lives as well as offer solutions and insights on how to go about meeting the challenges imposed by this technological transformation.

The speakers and panelists alike discussed the pros and cons of the 4IR. Ms. Riza Mantaring of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) discussed the wonders of the hologram technology- an image that appears to be three dimensional and can be seen with a naked eye. As an advanced technology, holograms can also perform operations and surgeries outside operating rooms in any country.

Dr. Eduardo Ong of PCCI discussed the creation of a global village through social media revolution embodied by Facebook, Twitter and others that has given everyone a voice and a way to communicate instantly across the world. Such innovations can bring access to products and services to entirely new markets and can give people more opportunities to learn and earn in new ways.

Other speakers showed that digital technology can free workers from automation tasks, freeing them to concentrate on addressing more complex business issues and giving them more autonomy. It can also provide workers with new tools and insights to design more creative solutions to previously insurmountable problems.

Of the negative effects of such industrial transformation, the speakers and panelists agreed that being always connected can turn into a liability, with no respite from the continuous overload of data and connections. Dr. Marvin Adolfo of PMAP pointed out, “human beings will become lazy and live a distanced life through screens, while ignoring the world in front of them. Relations will lose value as most of us now have become busy on our social media life and there is now the prevalence of fake news, voice and facial reorganization, etc, which are regarded as ethical concerns. Further, there are risks of machines overpowering humans as portrayed in movies such as Terminator and I Robot.”

However, there are ways forward in dealing with the negative effects of the 4IR. Our government should take steps to ensure that we are able to capitalize on the 4IR rather than the receiving end of it. Hence, collaborative effort like the government-academe-industry linkages is very critical. First and foremost, we need to improve the quality of education and training in order to create more skilled persons which automatically reduce the risk of losing jobs. Government also needs to focus on increasing markets from priority sectors in order to increase the country’s economy.

Thus, the forum concludes that as a country, we need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the 4IR may have the potential to “robotize” humanity and thus deprive us of our heart and soul. But we, as human beings can complement it through the best parts of human nature- that is- creativity, empathy and stewardship or teaching or coaching- which separates us from the “robotic stance” and uplift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of values and destiny. It is incumbent for us as humans to make sure the latter prevails.- GTM

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: At the heart of PH 4.0 economy

Education and training will play a very critical role in the country’s technological transformation, this according to speakers and panelist during the 9th National Education Forum held at Hotel Jen last 29 August 2019.

PHILEXPORT President, Mr. Ortiz-Luis, emphasized the importance of “government officials, educational institutions, business leaders, and policymakers in pushing forward advocacies on education such as 4.0 workforce readiness, strengthening government-academe-industry linkages as well as best practices on multi-skilling workforce and plotting the ways forward in future-proofing work in the Philippines.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Eduardo Ong, PCCI Chairman for Education, stressed that “the government, specifically those in the education and training sectors, shall continuously push for an enabling education environment that propels industrial revolution and economic resiliency.” It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that the value of partnerships and collaborations shall be undertaken at all levels, in all sectors, with emphasis to fulfill the mission of uplifting the quality of education in the country”.

Moreover, Dr. Ong said “Örganizations like the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Export Development Council (EDC), PHILEXPORT and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) are all working on policies towards identifying the breadth of jobs that are likely to be threatened by this technological advancement. Noting for example is the rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI), which indicates a much broader range of jobs than previously thought could be carried out by machines. Therefore, the Commission on Higher Education and other government agencies shall make sure that essential policies shall bring up symmetrical balance so that we will not be worried about automation affecting employment in the country.”

It was also highlighted that as one country, we should believe in the reality that jobs of the future will be the ones that machines can’t do and it is fair to say that anything that can be measured or is based on rules will be automated- an idea which means, we can automate the work and humanize the job. This also means that technology cannot always do the work alone- most of the time, it still needs human intervention.

Hence, it is beyond doubt that education is at the heart of preparing our future and present generations to thrive in a technologically advanced world. As a result, it is vital that we have an educational institution that develops human potential rather than pits it against machines; an education system designed for an industrial economy that is now being automated requires transformation; and from a system based on facts and procedures to one that actively applies that knowledge to collaborative problem-solving.

The said forum was organized by the PCCI Education Committee in collaboration with the EDC-Networking Committee on HRD and supported by PHILEXPORT.- GTM