A Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) was issued to prompt local government units (LGUs) not to impose fees and taxes relative to the transport of goods and products. It is a tripartite effort by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), with the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Bureau of Local Government Supervision (DILG-BLGS), and Department of Finance-Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF).
The bill amending the Public Service Act is aimed to be passed within the remaining term of the Duterte Administration.
Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Dominguez reported during his Sulong Pilipinas 2021 speech that to fully liberalize the Philippine economy, amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, The Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act will be pushed through as these three bills are certified as urgent by the President.
The House Committee on Transportation pushes house bills as URGENT to regulate international shipping line charges in the Philippines.
The issue of high shipping cost has been a long-standing problem in the country, and house bills 4462 and 4316 acknowledge that it has been prevailing since not one agency once stepped in and addressed it.
House Bill 4462 sponsored by Rep. Ong, once passed, will vest the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) the power to promote fair and transparent destination and other shipping charges among forwarders and agents of international shipping lines.
President Rodrigo Duterte created the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Process (OPASGP) through Executive Order (EO) no. 129 signed 13 April 2021. Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr., as the newly appointed Presidential Adviser to streamline government processes will work closely with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is working with banks on the standardization of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) loan application process. BSP is also developing the concept note and draft standard loan application form. This initiative aims to streamline/ lessen the requirements of financial institutions and provide more access to MSMEs.
In a press release by the BSP, it has allowed loans to large enterprises and MSMEs to be considered banks’ alternative reserve compliance until end-2022 to help companies affected by the pandemic. Consequently, loans that are guaranteed by the Philippine Guarantee Corporation, the Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP), and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) were assigned a zero percent credit risk weight. This move is meant to encourage banks to lend to small farmers and fisherfolk.
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.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue Import Clearance Certificate (BIR-ICC) has been repealed by Department Order No. 11-2018 of the Department of Finance.
Importers and customs brokers accreditation will now be processed solely by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to simplify the process.
DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who signed the Order last 7 February 2018, noted that the move is pursuant to Section 1200 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Instead, the BOC shall provide the BIR with a list of accredited importers and customs brokers for post-accreditation validation of tax compliance. On the other hand, the BIR shall notify immediately the BOC if there is a case of tax deficiency and non-compliance of accredited importers and customs brokers.
To implement this Order, the BOC and BIR are tasked to issue relevant orders and administrative issuances.
The Export Development Council welcomes this policy decision as it had recommended the removal of BIR-ICC which required many documents and caused delays in the accreditation of importers and brokers. This initiative is seen as putting in action one of the 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte which includes enhancing competitiveness and promoting ease of doing business.
To address the need of the export sector for innovative financing options, factoring and crowdsourcing platforms were introduced in a seminar conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry- Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in collaboration with the Export Development Council and PHILEXPORT under the Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP).
Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivables, i.e., invoices to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. Factoring is not the same as invoice discounting. Factoring is the sale of receivables, whereas invoice discounting is a borrowing that involves the use of accounts receivable assets as collateral for the loan. Export factoring on the other hand, is a package that encompasses credit protection, export working capital financing, foreign accounts receivable bookkeeping and collection services. The financier (factor, which usually are the banks) will purchase accounts receivable of invoices, which are raised once the seller (exporter) ships the goods to the buyer. Factoring was discussed by Mr. Etienne Von de Bogaert of the Eurofin Asia Group Pte Ltd., a company based in Singapore.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding offers a chance of success for MSMEs by showcasing their businesses and projects to the entire world. Crowdsourcing was discussed by Mr. Edison Tsai of New Union.
DTI-EMB regularly conducts these information sessions through its Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP)featuring current concerns of exporters. For more details and updates on topics, contact DTI-EMB at telephone number 465-3300 loc. 109 or email to email@example.com.-Grace T. Mirasol