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

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

COMELEC regulates movement of chemicals during gun ban

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) now regulates the transport and delivery of chemicals following the implementation of the gun ban covering the period 13 January to 12 June 2019.  Under COMELEC Resolution No. 10446 that provides the guidelines during the gun ban, chemicals are classified as explosives.

During the said period, bearing, carrying and transporting firearms, explosives or other deadly weapons is prohibited.

However, entities engaged in the transport, manufacture, import, export, purchase, deal in or sell of Firearms, Ammunitions, Explosives or their components who wants to be exempted of this prohibition are required to secure Certificate of Authority to Transport (CA-TT) chemicals from COMELEC.

Concerned entities may apply for the CA-TT by submitting the following:

  1. Accomplished application forms (CBFSP Form No. 2019-04 ATT (3 copies) & Form 19A04);
  2. Duly notarized Board Resolution;
  3. Certificate of Employment and Authorization of the applicant authorized by the Board;
  4. Original Permit to Transport issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) with stamp “Not valid without COMELEC exemption;
  5. Endorsement Letter from the Firearms and Explosives Office of PNP; and
  6. Copy of official receipt of filing/processing fee to the COMELEC office.

Applicants are also advised to present and submit a Compact Disk (CD) containing the scanned copies of all documentary requirements and copies of the valid identification cards of the principal and authorized representative.

The COMELEC also encourages applicants to apply for accreditation “by proving their qualification of large-scale frequent operation and/or status as major industry stakeholder” through one-time submission of documentary requirements. Once accredited, applicants will no longer need to re-submit basic documents, thus, shorter turnaround time.

For more information and clarification, the COMELEC’s Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel, responsible for the issuance of CA-TT, can be reached through telephone number (02) 400-0323.

Speaker Arroyo urges for the revival of RoRo missionary routes

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to revise its plan to develop a Roll-On, Roll-Off (RoRo) transportation system, during the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation oversight committee meeting, which aimed to determine how the government can improve the country’s RoRo system.

Speaker Arroyo ascertained that most of the proposed routes were already operational under the DOTr’s Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP). For instance, she said that most of the 30 proposed routes are either an existing port facilities or being served by shipping lines in nearby ports.

Cited example was the proposed Jagna, Camiguin to Cagayan de Oro route by the DOTr which is already being serviced by a shipping line.

During the hearing, Arroyo recommended to DOTr to give missionary routes to shipping lines to address the problem of unserved ports due to lack of operators. A missionary route is an incentive given to a shipping line to service a new route exclusively for five (5) years.

The RoRo transport system was one of GMA Administration’s priority programs to ensure fast and economical movement of goods and people, and to boost domestic tourism and trade.

During the said administration in 2003, 49 RoRo routes from Luzon to Mindanao were established. However, most of the RoRo projects approved during that time were cancelled by the Aquino Administration.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to revive the RoRo system citing it importance to trade and tourism. Today, there are a total 140 RoRo routes all over the country cutting travel time, promoting tourism and increasing trade.

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

DTI-EMB, PHILEXPORT and EDC gear up for the National Export Congress 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Export Marketing Bureau, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Export Development Council leads the conduct of the 2018 National Export Congress (NEC). NEC is the highlight of the week-long celebration of the National Exporter’s Week (NEW). This year’s theme, “SPICE Up to Scale Up! (Stimulate. Permeate. Innovate. Connect. Expand!)”, is consistent with the thrust for the Philippine export industry to be at the cutting edge of innovation and connectivity as a competitiveness strategy.

Over 700 delegates including exporters, business support organizations, policy makers, and academe will convene at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City on 07 December 2018 for the annual NEC. The event will have discussions on various topics such as global outlook and prospects for Philippine exports, expanding market, ease of doing business, industry-led innovation and connectivity. Export Enablers Exhibit and Logistics Fair will also transpire during the event which will showcase the services of government clearance agencies, financing institutions, Halal certifying bodies and logistic providers.

The NEC is the main activity of the National Exporters’ Week (NEW). The first week of December is declared as the Exporters’ Week per Presidential Proclamation 931, Series of 1996 and House Resolution 33, in order to obtain total commitment of the government and the private sector to continuously work together to sustain and maintain export promotion and development.

Also part of the week-long NEW celebration is the conduct of Usapang Exports, an information sessions under the DTI-EMB’s Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP), on 03-05 December 2018 and the conduct of Logistics Summit organized by the DTI-Competitiveness Bureau (CB) on 06 December 2018. (MDGTD)

Personal properties now accepted as loan collateral 

President Duterte signed last month, Republic Act No.11057 or the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA)  to boost access to credit and financing for the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including exporters as well as farmers and fisherfolks. This means that banks and other financial institutions will now accept account receivables, inventory, warehouse receipts, crops, livestock, machinery and equipment, vehicles and even deposit accounts.

In the past, banks and other financial institutions prefer traditional collateral such as real estate or land for loan applications. As these assets are hard to come by for MSMEs, bank loans were often only accessible to and obtained by larger corporations. But with the new measure, land titles would now cease to be the sole requirement for securing bank loans.

By expanding the said list, the government is promoting an increase in economic activity of the MSMEs which redounds to better businesses, more revenues and more jobs for the Filipinos.

Further, the law also provides for the establishment of a unified, centralized online notice-based collateral registry that is lodged in the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to provide protection and more confidence to banks and financial institutions in lending to MSMEs and the agriculture sector. Such collateral registry will serve as a centralized digital record for personal properties being used as collateral, thus, allowing banks to make sure that their applicants’ collateral will not be used for more than one loan application.

In addition, the passage of the law is expected to improve the country’s position in the Getting Credit indicator of the Ease of Doing Business Survey of the World Bank.

Finally, with a sustained effort from the government and private sector partners, the country will surely achieve a more competitive and sustainable economic growth through a reformed and secured transaction system in the country. (GTM)