RCEP ratification foresees massive export and import growth

The Senate concurred voting 20-1-1 on the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by far among Asia-Pacific nations, on 21 February 2023.  The RCEP is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that aims to establish a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership framework to liberalize and facilitate trade in goods and services. It will also create a liberal, facilitative, and competitive regional investment. Economists supported this, particularly the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is optimistic that this FTA will fuel the Philippines’ economic growth. 

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PSAC linked partnership with government towards economic growth

The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) linked strong partnerships with the government towards economic growth.  Mr. Sabin Aboitiz – PSAC Lead Convenor and President and CEO of Aboitiz Group, laid out the country’s economic policy directions with the government. The PSAC focuses on six sectors, mainly on 1) Digitalization, 2) Basic Infrastructure, 3) Agriculture, 4) Healthcare, 5) Tourism, and 6) Jobs. 

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ITC Synergizes with BOI and ARISE Plus Philippines to strengthen Industrial policy

The International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaborative partnership with the DTI Board of Investments (BOI) and ARISE Plus Philippines, jointly synergized a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on ‘Innovating Industrial Policy in the Philippines. The initiative aims to explore and strengthen industrial policies as follows:

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Philippines Way Forward to Full Digitalization

Technology undeniably benefits society. Mr. Anthony Patrick Chua, Philippines Lead Staff of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), expounded on the topic entitled “Facilitating the digital led transformation in the Philippines’ – Opportunities and Challenges” which covers the following current legislative measures benefitting the Philippines and the region: (1) Public Service Act; (2) Foreign Investment Act; (3) Retail Trade Liberalization Act; and (4) E-Commerce Roadmap.

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ARTA and 8888 CCC signs Agreement on Unresponsive Agencies

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the 8888 Citizens Complaint Center (CCC), under the auspices of the Office of the President, officially signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), systemizing the public feedback mechanism on stakeholders’ complaints against unresponsive agencies and authorizing the 8888 CCC to file formal complaints against said unresponsive government institutions with ARTA to ensure prompt action and resolution.

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PH and China pact on Authorized Economic Operator Program

The Philippines and China pact on Authorized Economic Program (AEO) that offers incentives to traders who collaborate with customs administrations to improve supply chain security. The Agreement will allow both countries to have faster cargo clearance. The Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for the said partnership was signed during President Marcos’ state visit to China last January 3-5, 2023. 

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The Bureau of Customs launched the ACDD Portal

The Bureau of Customs (BOC), led by Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, formally launched the portal for the electronic exchange of ASEAN Customs Declaration Documents (ACDD) among Association of Southeast Asian Nations members on 6 December 2022 at the F1 Hotel Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Commissioner Ruiz underscores that through the ACDD Management Portal, the Philippines can now electronically exchange the customs declaration document with other ASEAN states, broadening the Philippines’ economic integration and maximizing the potential of intra-ASEAN trade. Launching this landmark digital tool is expected to improve bureaucratic efficiency, strengthen market competition, and reduce barriers to entry and limits to entrepreneurship.

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ARTA officially launched the NPRMS and BPLS Operations Manual

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) OIC Usec. Ernesto Perez, in partnership with UPPAF Respond, Chief of Party, Dr. Enrico Basilio, officially launched the National Policy on Regulatory Management System (NPRMS) and Business Permit and Licensing Systems (BPLS) Operations Manual during the Better Regulations Summit with the theme: “Enabling Regulatory Reforms Toward Bureaucratic Efficiency” at the PICC on 07 October 2022. 

The partner agencies and private stakeholders signed an Expression of Commitment to signify recognition and support for ARTA’s initiatives toward digital innovation and modernization in implementing the NPRMS program. Section 3 of RA 11032 covers all government offices and agencies, including local government units (LGUs), government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) and other government instrumentalities, that provide services covering business and nonbusiness related transactions, whether located in the Philippines or abroad.

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