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)

Customs to curtail corruption via enhanced goods declaration system

 

 

 

 

 

In a bid to suppress corruption, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now in its second phase of pilot testing the implementation of the 1-Assessment System in selected ports in the country.

1-Assessment which is formerly known as Enhanced Goods Declaration Verification System (EGDVS) is a web-based application which will institutionalize the “Zero Contact Policy” in the cargo clearance process. The system will randomly assign Customs examiners and appraisers to goods declaration filed, thus, removing the “suki system”.

As such, examiners, appraisers and brokers can now only communicate through the 1-Assessment portal. Pursuant to Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and other related laws and regulations, Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 17-2018, which implements the system, provides sanction and penalties to violating parties. .

For transparency, the system also enables importers and brokers to obtain real-time status of their goods declaration lodged with the BOC.

The system will only cover “import consumption entries cleared under the formal entry process in all ports of entry.

Exempted from the 1-Assessment system, even if cleared under the formal entry process, are the (1) Super Green Lane shipments, (2) articles withdrawn from the Customs Bonded Warehouse for local consumption, (3) wastages under the Bonded Warehouse Regime and jet operation losses, (4) goods entered as temporary imports for subsequent re-exportation and (5) deferred payment of government.

To use the system, importers and brokers shall lodge their goods declaration through the Value Added Service Providers, who shall in turn transmit the E2M lodged goods declaration to the 1-Assessment system.

The brokers must then attach the supporting documents to the system. However, original hard copies of supporting documents and notarized copy of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) and Supplemental Declaration on Valuation shall be submitted to the Entry Processing Unit or equivalent office in the port for documents verification.

Another feature of the system is the randomly re-assignment of goods declaration that remained unattended for two hours.

The 1-Assessment system which is the second version of the EGDVS was already implemented at the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port in October 2017.  Covered in the second-pilot implementation are the ports of Batangas, Clark, Limay, Subic and Surigao and the sub-ports of Bislig, Nasipit, Mariviles, Siain, Puerto Princesa and Bauan. Expected full implementation of the system will either be in December 2018 or in early 2019. (ARB)

PH needs to catch up with ASEAN neighbors in Dual Training System


Philippine and  German delegates to the benchmarking mission on Dual Training System in Malaysia and Thailand

The Philippines needs to catch up with ASEAN neighbors in the implementation of its Dual Training System (DTS). This conclusion is a result of the recent benchmarking mission to Malaysia and Thailand on Dual Training System conducted last 22-27 October, 2018. The main objective of the mission is to benchmark and network with the Malaysia and Thailand Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems and approaches with the end view of adoption and potential best practice elements in Dual VET, certification and In-company training which are the essential elements of the Dual Training System (DTS).

The lessons learned include determination of how the Dual VET policy framework in both countries is operationalized on the ground; observation how the Malaysian and Thai Dual DTS models work; gainful and deeper insight into both countries’ experiences through direct interaction with the DTS practitioners; comparison of various approaches and identification of what is adaptable in the Philippines; and instituting networks with Malaysia and Thai Dual VET players.

The Malaysian government fully supported the DTS system in their country, in coordination with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Malaysian Chapter (GCCI-Malaysia), by providing land, building and training facilities and equipment to train those students who opted to take vocational courses as well as their unemployed youths. In turn, GCCI-Malaysia assisted the government by partnering the Malaysian training institutions with multinational companies in terms of technical assistance and acquiring state of the art equipment/ technology or laboratories for use of students and faculties alike. Courses offered in the Malaysian DTS program include Mechatronics, Industrial Management and Logistics Operations Management, Electronics, Automation, Industry 4.0 Specialists course, International Master Craftsman, to name a few. However, unlike in the PH, Malaysia does not implement a ladderized form of education wherein subjects were not credited by the Malaysian higher education institutions when students who took up vocational courses finally opts to enroll in college.

The Thai government also fully supports the DTS system in their country in collaboration with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Thailand (GCCI-Thailand). It can be noted that the DTS implementation in Thailand specifically of the Don Bosco Academy can be replicated in the PH to help  strengthen resurgence of the country’s manufacturing sector e.g., students produce products for exporters using equipment and facilities donated by multi-national companies or thru the assistance of the German Federal Republic. In addition, Thailand is implementing a ladderized form of education where subjects being taken in the tech-voc curriculum are being credited by the Thai higher education institutions.

Meanwhile, in order for the PH to catch up, it is recommended that a review and subsequent amendment of the current Dual Training System Law be considered.  This is so because in the DTS law, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is both the regulator and provider of all technical and vocational trainings in the country, notwithstanding the private training institutions in the country who are to be accredited first by the latter before they can operate.  The PH should also formulate strategies and interventions needed by the country’s apprenticeship program as it relates to our current “endo” regime.  Apprenticeship programs under the dual training system can last from two (2) to three (3) years.  Hence, with our current “endo’ arrangements, this would be impossible.

The said study mission was spearheaded by the AFOS Foundation – K to 12 Plus Project ( a TVET training institution based in Cebu) in collaboration with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Philippines (GCCI-PH). Twenty five (25) participants (three (3) Germans and twenty two (22) Filipinos) from private sector, academe and training institutions took part in the said activity. (GTM)

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)

PH infrastructure development programs unveiled for competitiveness

DPWH Undersecretary Catalina Cabral presented in the recently concluded Arangkada Philippine Forum 2018 the convergence programs with other government agencies like DOT, DTI- BOI and DA that will further fuel high growth of domestic investments as well as the surge in foreign direct investments of the country.

Undersecretary Cabral highlighted the masterplan of the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program that will enhance the road connectivity around Metro Manila. In addition to the 26 existing bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River, and Manggahan Floodway, 12 new bridges will be constructed to provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways that will decongest traffic in Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and other major roads in Metro Manila.

On seaports and shipping, high cost of international and domestic shipping translates to high cost of consumer goods. Hence, Ms. Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and chief executive officer of Magsaysay Group of Companies, recommends the creation of manufacturing and industry clusters in each region to create trade volumes, lower shipping costs, and make the country competitive. These clusters, she noted, should be developed close to port and airport infrastructures and be designed to make handling products more efficient.

On air, Senator Grace Poe pointed out the P350B NAIA Consortium project that will rehabilitate, expand, operate, and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for 35 years. Also, she mentioned the unsolicited proposal of Bulacan Airport that is one of the two gateways being prioritized by the government to decongest NAIA’s three terminals, which have been operating over their capacity.

On telecommunications, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is hoping to fix the dysfunctional dynamics of the infrastructure development by fostering liberalization and competition through reform legislation.

These measures include amendments to the 80-year-old Public Services Act to clarify the definition of public utilities as only those public services which are natural monopolies by nature. This is being sought by Senate Bill No. 1754. He also clarified that easing the country’s foreign investment restrictions is not meant to favor foreign firms over domestic players.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, Senator Gatchalian pointed out that the Philippines continues to lag behind its ASEAN neighbors in terms of capturing foreign investments due to the country’s relatively restrictive and less competitive economic policies.  (MJA)

FDA prioritizes CPR for export products 


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that processing of  applications for Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) for export products are prioritized.  Exporters are advised to indicate in the list of products for CPR application that such are for export.
Ms. Helena Alcaraz, Chief of the Licensing and Registration Division of the  FDA Center for Food Regulation and Research, said that issuance of the CPR will be facilitated even better if the application is accompanied with a proof of prospective order (e.g., email showing interest of a foreign buyer).  FDA will also validate if the applicant is an exporter. (EZM)