National Education Forum to Enhance HR Competitiveness

August 20, 2014

The Export Development Council Networking Committee on Human Resource Development in collaboration with PCCI Education Committee and the Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business (PCDEB) shall conduct the 4th National Education Forum (NEF) with the theme “Business Education: Responding to the Challenges of the Work Environment” on 29 August 2014 at the De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde, Taft Campus, Taft Avenue, Manila.

This forum will be attended by leaders and professionals in the fields of education and business. It aims to enhance competitiveness by emphasizing academic, technical-vocational and entrepreneurial aptitude; ensure the continuous advancement of relevant knowledge and skills through a permanent industry-education cooperation, advocate apprenticeships for pre-recruitment training of students beginning at basic education and strengthen the role of the academe and the industry in developing labor-related policies that will contribute to the development of human resource.

PCCI urges exporters to use Sundays to decongest ports

August 20, 2014

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) recently encouraged exporters to release their shipments on Sundays in order to help decongest the ports in Manila. This is in response to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) which opens its operations on weekends from 8:00AM-5:00PM at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) beginning June 28, 2014.

This palliative measure will relieve pressures caused by the day-time truck ban in the City of Manila.

Malacanang backs up EDC’s advocacy on the simplification of the new accreditation policy of BIR and BOC

August 20, 2014

Executive Secretary Pacquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Office of the President, in a Memorandum sent to Department of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, enjoined the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider not requiring personal appearance by the applicant in Manila for the importer/customs broker accreditation process under BIR Revenue Memorandum Order No. 10-2014. He further urged BIR to review the documentary requirements with a view to removing unnecessary documents from the list; since some documents such as income tax returns are already submitted to the same office. He also recommended postponing the deadline for compliance to a reasonable later date.

As of July 31, 2014, the BOC and BIR has not extended the deadline for the accreditation of customs brokers and importers despite the pleas and opposition from the stakeholders due to the added steps, delay and costs brought up by the new accreditation procedures.

The Malacañang move is the result of the advocacies of PHILEXPORT Cebu, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Export Development Council (EDC), as well as the meeting among EDC, BIR and BOC regarding the two-stage vetting accreditation.

EDC opposes the draft DENR Administrative Order on the Exportation of Forest Products and Forest-Based Products

August 20, 2014

The Export Development Council (EDC) recently stated its opposition on the draft Administrative Order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with subject “Revised Rules and regulations Governing the Exportation of Forest Products and Forest-Based Products.

EDC highlighted its concern regarding the undue power given to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) which makes it difficult to monitor and to control/prevent “hidden costs”; as well as the collection of arbitrary processing and oath fees, requiring original documents and open-ended requirements contradicts the objective of transparency and simplification.

Amending DAO 99-46 entitled “Revised Regulations Governing the Entry and Disposition of Imported Logs, Lumber, Veneer, Plywood, Other Wood Based Panels, Poles and Piles, Pulpwood and Wood Chips” was reiterated by EDC to DENR, as a more strategic and timely solution in order for the furniture and wood manufacturers sector attain its potential to be the top exporting industry in our country.

EDC opposes the draft DENR Administrative Order on the Exportation of Forest Products and Forest-Based Products

August 20, 2014

The Export Development Council (EDC) recently stated its opposition on the draft Administrative Order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with subject “Revised Rules and regulations Governing the Exportation of Forest Products and Forest-Based Products.

EDC highlighted its concern regarding the undue power given to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) which makes it difficult to monitor and to control/prevent “hidden costs”; as well as the collection of arbitrary processing and oath fees, requiring original documents and open-ended requirements contradicts the objective of transparency and simplification.

Amending DAO 99-46 entitled “Revised Regulations Governing the Entry and Disposition of Imported Logs, Lumber, Veneer, Plywood, Other Wood Based Panels, Poles and Piles, Pulpwood and Wood Chips” was reiterated by EDC to DENR, as a more strategic and timely solution in order for the furniture and wood manufacturers sector attain its potential to be the top exporting industry in our country.

LTFRB implements “No Apprehension Policy” to all trucks for hire

July 10, 2014

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will observe a nation wide “No Apprehension Policy” of Trucks-for-Hire with green plates. This policy was issued under the Joint Administration No. 2014-01 for a period of one (1)month from June 28, 2014- July 28, 2014 to give adequate time for trucks-for-hire to apply for their franchise and provisional authority (PA).

To fast track the application of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) filed in the Central Office, the LTFRB, in cooperation with the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines offers a free pick-up of application and delivery of PA to applicants.

Further clarifications may be obtained from the LTFRB 24/7 hotline 459-2129

EDC requests AISL to extend “Container Free Time Period”

July 10, 2014

The Export Development Council is requesting the Association of International Shipping Lines, Inc. (AISL) to extend the free time period in returning empty containers in view of the existing port and road traffic congestion for a period of two(2) months.

In a letter dated June 20, 2014 to AISL, EDC cited that the severe congestion along the port and container yards has prolonged the process of returning empty containers causing exporters to go beyond the free time allotted by the shipping lines. The congestion in the port resulted to unforeseen negative effects such as additional detention or demurrage fees to the transport and logistics chain of exporters.

The request will temporarily waive fees on detention/demurrage fees, which is unduly charged to exporters, for the next two (2) months until the situation in the port normalizes.

DTI proposes a PH National Trade Repository

July 10, 2014

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as chair of the Committee for the ASEAN Economic Cooperation (CAEC), has proposed the creation of a Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR) which will serve as a single source or website containing comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information on all trade related matters. The PNTR will be an important component of the government’s trade facilitation strategy. The PNTR will provide businesses easier access to information and facilitate compliance with prescribed regulations. This was announced by Atty. Sherwin Prose Castañeda, Assistant Director of the DTI Bureau of Import Services (BIS) during the June 2014 CAEC Meeting.

Under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), the PNTR will connect and interoperate with the national trade repositories of ASEAN member states to create the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR). Once established, the PNTR should create a more transparent environment for trading and help reduce the amount of transaction time and costs. DTI-BIS will be the lead agency in the PH, while all other government agencies will collaborate in supplying information required in the system.

Accreditation of Brokers and Importers Extended!

July 10, 2014

The Department of Finance (DOF) issued Department Order No. 046-2014 extending the application period of importers and customs broker for accreditation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) & Bureau of Customs (BOC) until 31 July 2014.

The extension has been granted following complaints of applicants about the delay in the processing and approval of BIR due to sheer volume of applicants.

Failure to file the application with the BIR and BOC within the extended date will automatically cancel the existing accreditation.

EDC also continues to advocate for the decentralization of receipt of applications to reduce the costs of transportation, accommodation, etc. of importers and brokers outside Metro Manila.


EDC Cautions Customs on the proposed load port survey

June 13, 2014

In a position paper submitted to Department of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, the Export Development Council (EDC) strongly recommends the amendment of the proposed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) on Load Port Survey (LPS) requirement and advanced import clearance system for bulk, break-bulk, containerized and other non-containerized cargoes. It further recommends to make the LPS voluntary if the importer wants to be exempted from physical and x-ray inspection at the time of arrival of importation.

The legality of issuing a CAO was also raised in the said position paper stating that a mere CAO cannot amend the provisions of an existing Administrative Order which is issued by the President of the Philippines. Further, the Commissioner will exceed his delegated authority by issuing regulation which requires Destination Inspection (DI) by the Accredited Cargo Surveying (ACS) companies in certain cases, thereby limiting the powers of customs officers to examine and assess imported articles under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).

EDC cites that the restrictive measure of the draft CAO may result to delays, higher costs, forgone business opportunities and reduced competitiveness.

EDC supports the proposed revised rates on CY/CFS

June 13, 2014

The EDC has manifested its support on the proposed Bureau of Customs (BOC) Memorandum Order on revised rates of Off-Dock Container Yard/Container Freight Stations (CY/CFS). The said CMO will amend CMO 24-2001, which prescribes rates charged by CY/CFS outside of customs zones.

In a position paper submitted to the BOC last May 23, 2014, the EDC expressed its strong recommendation to the BOC to exercise its authority per CAO 11-80 in order to promulgate uniform rates to be charged by CY/CFS and to ensure that logistics costs are viable and reasonable. EDC notes that the existing rates which are being charged by the Association of Off- Dock CY/CFS Operators of the Philippines (ACOP) violate CMO 24-2001.

The draft CMO will help Philippine exports become more competitive especially those coming from small and medium enterprises as well as aid in fulfilling the Philippines’ commitment to further improve its business environment through lowering the cost of doing business in the country.

VP Binay emphasizes need to invest in education and employee development

June 13, 2014

“Education and the development of employee welfare mechanism have plenty of room for development. In education, the business sector must work with schools and training institutions to align courses offered with the competencies required in the workplace”, said Vice President Binay during the 35th National Conference of Employers.

The VP emphasized that productivity of enterprise is a responsibility shared by all sectors, citing worker motivation as a vital ingredient for achieving desired outputs in the workplace. He added that employers need to implement strategic human resource initiatives to effectively motivate employees. Further, he also emphasized the need to continuously work with government and learning institutions to harmonize education agenda with the needs of the industry.

In conclusion, he urged employers and the business community to invest more on education and employee development.

EDC and NCC support institutionalizing the National School Feeding Program

June 13, 2014

The Export Development Council and National Competitiveness Council- Education and Human Resource Development Technical Working Group (EDC/NCC-EHRD TWG) is supporting the Substitute House Bill for National School Feeding Program.

The bill “An Act Institutionalizing the National School Feeding Program for Public Kindergarten and Elementary Pupils and Appropriating Funds Thereof” calls for the State to promote the rights of children to survival, development and special protection with full recognition on the nature of childhood and its special needs.

The bill aims to ensure that adequate health and nutrition programs are accessible to school children throughout their early childhood years; achieve improved attendance and survival rates in public kindergarten and elementary schools; enhance the physical, social, cognitive, psychological and language development of young children; mitigate nourishment among school children; and to establish an efficient system for early identification, prevention, referral and intervention of developmental disorders and disabilities in early childhood.

In general, the bill ensures the country’s future, specifically in enhancing human resource competitiveness that includes competitiveness of Philippine exports by integrating the industry and education sectors to match the skills and knowledge of the workforce with the needs of businesses. This means sustainability of talents and improvement of the country’s competitiveness in all aspects. The bill does not only ensure a healthy mind and body, but a healthy and robust economy of the country in the future.

Manila Mayor grants an 8-day moratorium on truck ban

May 14, 2014

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada signed an eight-day moratorium on the truck ban starting May 13, 2014 until May 20, 2014.

The moratorium resulted from a formal request made by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio L. Singson last May 9 asking Estrada for the temporary suspension of the controversial truck ban in line with the 2014 World Economic Forum on East Asia. The forum will gather international experts on business, government, politics, and civil leaders in the ASEAN region. According to Sec. Singson, the moratorium on truck ban is intended to clear the huge back log of containers due to long queuing of 6-7 vessels at any given time.

The said moratorium will provide all stakeholders opportunity to assess and evaluate the most efficient truck operating hours and to mitigate traffic congestion in the City of Manila.

For more details, Executive Order No. 49 can be downloaded at www.edc.net.ph

EDC recommends simplification of the new accreditation policy of BIR and BOC

May 14, 2014

The Export Development Council (EDC) recommended to the Department of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima to revisit the new accreditation policy providing a two-stage vetting accreditation of importers and customs brokers with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). This is in response to the issues and concerns identified by EDC affecting exporters who import raw materials and other inputs to their export products. Without such accreditation, they will not be able to transact with the BOC.

The recommendations highlighted the impact of BIR Revenue Memorandum Order No. 10-2014 and Customs Memorandum Order No. 04-2014 specifically on the inconsistent provisions on the documentary requirements, processing time, accrediting offices, records-keeping and transitory provisions. EDC further recommended to harmonize and simplify the requirements in these issuances for trade facilitation.

Exporters/Stakeholders consulted for PEDP 2014-2016 Regional Consultation Workshops

May 14, 2014

Essential to the development and crafting of the Philippine Export Development Plan 2014-2016 is the consultation among exporters, business support organizations, and government agency partners. Hence, the recently concluded PEDP 2014-2016 Regional Consultation Workshops held in Davao, NCR and Cebu validated the export status, targets and strategies laid down for PEDP 2014-2016

The Consultation Workshops were organized by the Department of Trade and Industry in cooperation with the EU-TRTA Project 3, the Export Development Council and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.

The PEDP is one of the most important elements of the International Trade Strategy. The plan, when approved by the President, will be jointly implemented by the government, exporters and other concerned sectors.

PH MSMEs urged to seize opportunities in AEC 2015 to accelerate PH advantage

May 14, 2014

Former NEDA Secretary, now USAID Chief of Party, Dr. Cielito F. Habito urges PH MSMEs to seize opportunities to accelerate PH advantage in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 and other trade agreements. He stated that despite the challenges posed by the AEC, it also opens more opportunities for less developed members. Unbalanced gains were foreseen as big businesses are better positioned than MSMEs to reap gains, hence small businesses require deliberate support and assistance.

Dr. Habito mentioned that value chains which are largely intra-industry in nature will cross national boundaries and complement PH products, hence resulting to lesser competition. He also encouraged MSMEs to enhance efficiency via supply chain design & strategic location of various business functions. Dr. Habito added that greater efficiency can result from more technology sharing and can lower costs & prices for all. He urged MSMEs to deploy skilled labor strategically for maximum productivity and tap wider financing options from integrated regional capital markets.

Congress calls for amendment of IRR of Magna Carta for MSMEs

April 23, 2014

Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, in a privilege speech last 05 March 2014, calls for the amendment of the BSP Circular 625, the implementing rules and regulations of the Magna Carta for MSMEs, to align the sanctions on non-compliance to the mandatory allocation of loans. He also asked to clearly define “loan portfolio” and to restructure the monitoring system. He recommended for a review of the law by convening the Oversight Committee to validate varying claims on how the law is interpreted and implemented. These recommendations aim to provide better access of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to credit .

According to him, despite the numerous existing financing programs, MSMEs still find difficulty in accessing credit. While it is true that the opportunity for the poor to be productive can come from the MSME sector which is seen as the critical driver of the country’s economic growth, the sector’s performance remains constrained by high cost of doing business, lack of access to financing, lack of market information, low productivity and competitiveness.

As a result, the Congressional Oversight Committee will convene when Congress resumes in May 2014.

EDC Creates Public-Private TWG on Customs Modernization and Tariff Act

April 23, 2014

The Export Development Council led the organization of a dedicated Technical Working Group (TWG) that studies the bills on Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). The TWG aims to ensure that the CMTA is consistent with the Revised Kyoto Convention and other international trade facilitation protocols.

The EDC TWG-CMTA acts as the primary technical group that shall consolidate and solidify the positions of various relevant agencies both from the public and private sectors such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Makati Business Club (MBC), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Tariff Commission (TC), etc. This is in conjunction with the initiatives from the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines in innovating and updating Customs policies to make it more responsive to a modernized and automated environment.

DTI’s Export Trade Complaints Committee helps resolve export disputes

April 23, 2014

The Export Trade Complaints Committee (ETCC) of the DTI Export Management Bureau (EMB) helps resolve complaints arising from export trade-related transactions including but not limited to: non-payment of delivery, non-delivery of paid order, short shipment, cancelled L/C order, quality specifications deviations, and other nature of complaints.

The ETCC is chaired by EMB Director Senen M. Perlada and composed of representatives from EMB, DTI Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT) and the Credit Information Bureau Inc. (CIBI). They are assisted by EMB personnel duly trained by the Makati Regional Trial Court and the Supreme Court of the Philippines, to mediate on export-related complaints. Complainants may file complaints to EMB Director Perlada, the nearest DTI regional / provincial office or Philippine Trade Post abroad.

For more information, the ETCC Secretariat may be contacted at tel. +63(2)465-3300 loc. 112 or email at: etcc_Secretariat@dti.gov.ph

DENR-FMB, DTI initiates Forum on Legal Timber Verification

April 23, 2014

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Forest Management Bureau (DENR-FMB) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are supporting initiatives of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) for the verification of legal timber to help Philippine producers comply with requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and other international trade legislation.

The EU Timber regulation is a binding legislation that the European Union has introduced to reduce illegal logging. This regulation is part of a 2003 initiative, called the EU Forest law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, which recognizes the role both producers and consumers play in curbing and stopping illegal timber harvesting in trade.

In the said Forum held last 26 March 2014, Mr. Raul Briz, Senior Forester Management Specialist said that the DENR-FMB is currently developing a clear structure of all documents required for legal verification that will provide the structure for the Timber Legality Assurance Scheme and setting up TLA procedures in compliance with EUTR.

At present, the Philippines is working towards a comprehensive approach for importers to conduct "Due Diligence" and a system that will continually improve transparency across the supply chain.

Mr. Nicolaas de Lange, CFIP National President emphasized that the EUTR will affect the furniture industry which employs 1.9 million direct and indirect workers in 2013. He further said that 20-25% of the total industry's exports go to the EU market.

EDC pushes Batangas International Terminal as alternative Ports

March 20, 2014

With the on-going efforts in resolving issues arising from the truck ban, the Export Development Council urges exporters and truckers to use Batangas International Port as an alternate port for goods moving in and out of South Luzon since the Port of Manila is congested and operating beyond its capacity. Hence, cargo trucks continue to congest not just the port but also the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.

EDC believes that Batangas Port is ready to accommodate shipments since all major road infrastructure networks are in place. It also serves as a complementary gateway for the ports of Manila. The port is directly connected with the major highways via modern infrastructure making it conveniently accessible to shippers, truckers and passengers.

To realize this, EDC recommended the issuance of a policy or an executive order directing foreign cargoes to shift to the newly developed Batangas International Port as a long-term solution to decongest the Ports of Manila.

Moreover, EDC and PEZA are jointly encouraging ecozone locators to nominate Batangas International Port as their port of loading of export cargoes and unloading of imported raw materials.

EDC supports the proposed Super Green Lane (SGL) for SMEs

March 20, 2014

The Export Development Council (EDC) expressed its support on DTI’s initiative to enhance the Super Green Lane (SGL), intended to introduce greater efficiencies in customs and trade to small and medium enterprises.

The Super Green Lane, established by Executive Order No. 230 s. 2000, provides a special facility which, with the use of Electronic Data Interchange, will allow for the advance processing and clearance of the shipments of the country’s topmost qualified importers without prior physical examination and documentary check on their shipments upon compliance with pertinent Customs laws, rules and regulations.

With the proposed expansion of the SGL for SMEs, modernization and efficiency in customs clearance processing can now be greatly felt by almost 99.6% of Philippine SMEs; since the initial SGL and SGL Plus only covered 0.4% of the industry. It will assure qualified SME importers and exporters with simplified, prompt and efficient customs clearance and will pave the way towards other government initiatives, such as the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), Self-Certification System and the National SME Development Plan.

Exporters, Government prepare for AEC 2015

January 20, 2014

Exporters concluded 2013 with anticipation as they approach the final year of preparing for 2015 ASEAN Integration.

During the National Export Congress last December at the Philippine International Convention Center, Exporters’ were given a rundown on how to prepare for the much talked about AEC 2015. The event’s theme is “Opportunities in Regional Integration: The Road to Leadership Beyond Asia”.

The gathering, attended by government and private sector explored the opportunities of regional integration which is expected to produce considerable economic gains.

Various issues such as competitiveness, red tape, climate change, exchange rate and government support were some of the identified challenges our exporters are and will be facing.

However, government assured that there are programs and policies set in place that will provide support to Philippine exporters. For one, Secretary Montejo informed that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is studying Technology Chain/Supply Chain and figuring where technology can help for exporters to be competitive. Thereafter, benchmarking that technology in two ways: 1. Localizing technology, making it available to SMEs and 2. Making it price/cost competitive against the region.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will maintain an environment conducive to the development of exports by: maintaining a low interest rate regime; providing financial literacy program for exporters; and continuously reviewing foreign exchange regulatory framework.

For the private sector, Mr. Danilo Lachica, President of the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) recognizes the challenges but maintains that they are continually enhancing their research and development capabilities to sustain their edge in the market.

Mr. Donald Dee of PCCI said that ”Exporters play an important role as we cascade the impact and benefits of AEC. Exporters should be at the forefront of the Regional Value Chain. You should work on your competitiveness to ensure that you will be able to penetrate new markets, source your raw materials cheaply and efficiently and attract further investments and technology transfer that usually go along with the process of integration.”

Customs issues Administrative Order to implement Self-Certification

January 20, 2014

The Bureau of Customs issued Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 6-2013 dated December 12, 2013 which implements Executive Order No. 142 (Implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Governments of Participating Member States of the ASEAN on the Second Pilot Project for the Implementation of a Regional Self-Certification System).

The CAO granted authority to the exporters of the Participating Member States of the Self-Certification System to self-certify the origin of the goods to be exported.

It further provided procedures on how the Philippine importer of goods from the Participating Members States can avail the preferential tariffs, as well as guidelines for customs officers of the Preferential Rate Unit (PRU) in the Formal Entry Division (FED) or equivalent unit in the port that will grant the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) Preferential Tariff Rates using the Invoice Declaration of an exporter from the Participating Members States.

For exportations of originating goods to the Participating Members States, the Self-Certification System will be initially limited to the three (3) major ports of the Bureau of Customs namely: Port of Manila (POM), Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Importations from the Participating Members States will be implemented in all ports.

The Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group of the Bureau of Customs (AOCG) is now accepting application for the “Certified Exporter” status from legitimate manufacturer or producers who have been exporting products to any ASEAN country for at least a year, have knowledge and competence in the Rules of Origin and have undergone training on the implementation.

BOC is also expected to issue a Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) to substantiate or flesh out provisions of CAO No. 6-2013 which are general in nature and to conduct orientation seminars for exporters and importers on the implementation of the Self-Certification System.

Proposed National Transport Policy bared to exporters

January 20, 2014

NEDA Deputy Director Gen. Rolando Tungpalan informed exporters that the government is on track in the development of the National Transport Policy (NTP) to provide quality and adequate seamless transport infrastructure services to exporters.

The proposed NTP is one of the strategies perceived to enhance the export sector competitiveness, improve export environment through maximized transport infrastructure investments, creation of a new economic growth centers outside of Metro Manila to attain inclusive growth, and to support tourism and agro-industry sector.

The NTP will ensure coordination among transport agencies to bring about a more integrated transport network in the transportation sector. Part of the policy is the alignment all the existing national policies, programs, and government priorities such as the Public-Private Partnerships, Open Skies Policy, ASEAN RORO Network, an initiative of the Philippine government, and country’s international commitments.

DDG. Tungpalan emphasized that the NTP can enhance the Philippines’ export competitiveness through looking at the proposed schemes: establishment of a seamless intermodal transport logistics network, establishment of a single transport document and single access point and one-stop shop, standardizing handling characteristics of intermodal loading units, and developing interfaces between long distance deliveries and short distance distribution.

These components of transport logistics under a national policy form part of the needed policies, systems and procedures to facilitate the movement of goods and services

Top Exporters honored at the National Export Congress

January 20, 2014

The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-BETP) in partnership with the Export Development Council (EDC) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) recently awarded 13 Top performing exporters for their exemplary efforts in boosting the country’s export revenue in 2012.

Citations were given to 11 Top exporters by sector namely: TI Philippines Inc. (Electronic); Del Monte Phils, Inc. (Processed Food); Dole Philippines, Inc. (Fresh Fruits and Vegetables); Philbest Canning Corp. (Marine); Wilmar Edible Oils Philippines, Inc. (Coconut Oil); Philippines Associated Smelting & Refining Corp. (Minerals); Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, Inc. (Motor Vehicle Parts); Park Apparel Inc. (Garments); Maitland–Smith Inc. (Homestyle); TMX Philippines Inc. (Wearables); and House Technology Industries Pte. Ltd. (Construction Materials).

Two (2) Special Citations were given to Ionics EMS Inc. and Cebu Mitsumi Inc. for the Most Diversified Market and the Most Diversified Products respectively.

The citation was conferred during the National Export Congress, the highlight activity of the National Exporters’ Week 2013.

Private Sector shared inputs for the next export plan

January 20, 2014

Various Business Support Organizations (BSOs) in the exporting community has recently conducted post-congress workshops last Dec 9-12, 2013 to align their plans with there commendations gathered from the National Export Congress. Their outputs are expected to provide solutions to persistent industry issues as well as serve as inputs to the next Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2014-2016.

This activity further strengthened the private-public partnership for a common goal of increasing Philippine exports.

The activity was jointly organized by the DTI-Bureau of Export Trade Promotions (BETP), the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Export Development Council (EDC) as part of the activities of the National Exporters’ Week 2013 celebration from December3-16, 2013.

BSP outlines prospects for deeper financial integration in ASEAN

January 14, 2014

“Many opportunities are in place for Philippine banks come ASEAN 2015”, said Mr. Thomas Benjamin Marcelo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas International Relations Department. These opportunities include human resource being backed with a global Filipino workforce, alliances with other ASEAN banks on microfinance innovations, state-of-the-art mobile banking, and technology transfer and management skills, to name a few.

Philippine companies specifically SMEs and exporters may also avail of loans from ASEAN banks subject to requirements. For ASEAN banking integration, opportunities include broader range of financial services and products, reduction in the cost of financial intermediation, mobilization of more savings, improvement in domestic financial infrastructure and enhancement of information linkages through closer cooperation among individual member states.

RCBC bares paperless loan screening

January 14, 2014

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) introduced the initiative of paperless loan screening to help local entrepreneurs and improve SME access to bank financing.

During the 2nd run of the BETP seminar on “Accessing External Funds to Support Exports”, RCBC informed about the get-a-loan.com, an internet-based automatic loan screening system which would allow applicants to find out if they are qualified for a business loan without presenting documents or going to the bank. So far, it is the only known interactive loan inquiry in the ASEAN region. The applicant will only type www.getaloan.com.ph and automatic loan screening will begin immediately.

Further, in an effort to make the automatic loan screening system more accessible, RCBC also launched a phone version- phone-a-loan. Applicants may dial 877-7222 and know the results right away.

Pres. Aquino issues EO 142 to implement the Self-Certification System

November 12, 2013

President Benigno Aquino III signed last October 14, 2013 Executive Order (EO) No. 142, to implement the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Governments of the Participating Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Second Pilot Project for the Implementation of a Regional Self-Certification System”

The 2nd ASEAN Pilot Project on Self-Certification System will commence among Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. Under the Self-Certification scheme, there shall be no need to present a Certificate of Origin (Form D) in claiming tariff preferences as it allows Certified Exporters to self-declare that their products have satisfied the ATIGA ROO (ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement Rules of Origin) on the Invoice Declaration. This will streamline the certification procedures at the customs authorities of both exporting and importing parties, in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 Blueprint.

EO 142 further delegates the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as the implementing agency and shall grant, suspend, or revoke the status of Certified Exporters; monitor the proper use of the Certified Exporters status, including the verification of the authenticity and validity of the Invoice Declarations made; monitor compliance of Certified Exporters with the laws, rules and regulations pertinent to exportation and importation; and perform other appropriate functions consistent with the implementation of the MoU on the 2nd ASEAN Pilot Project on Self-Certification System. BOC is also expected to issue a Customs Administrative Order and Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) after consultations with stakeholders.

National Exporters’ Week 2013 Highlights the National Export Congress

November 12, 2013

The Export Development Council in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. will hold the National Exporters’ Week on December 2-6, 2013. This year’s celebration will focus on the opportunities offered by the regional and global integration, thus the theme: “Opportunities in Regional Integration: THE ROAD TO LEADERSHIP BEYOND ASIA”.

The highlight of the event is the National Export Congress to be held on December 3, 8:00am - 4:00pm at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center. The Congress will discuss on preparing exporters to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Regional Integration while addressing the challenges toward unleashing the country’s economic potential to lead beyond Asia. Cebu City will be on Live Streaming to expand participation in the Visayas.

Other activities in NCR include the Exporter’s Bazaar at the DTI International Bldg. and Usapang Exports’ series of seminars. Meanwhile, Regional offices of the DTI, PHILEXPORT and the Academe will also celebrate the event with various activities in line with the year’s chosen theme.

Another Seminar on Accessing External Funds for Exports this November

November 12, 2013

The 2nd run of the Export Financing Seminar will be on November 18, 2013, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, AVR, DTI-International Building, 375 Sen. Gil Puyat Makati City. Exporters who missed the September event will now be able to participate in the discussions. Also, a new set of banks from the government and private sector are invited to present their programs and products that may assist exporters.

The said activity is a joint project of the DTI-BETP, EDC and PHILEXPORT under the seminar series of the Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP).

GVW implemented through DTI, PEZA, PPA & Port Operators

November 12, 2013

The DPWH enforces the implementation of the maximum allowable Gross Vehicle (GVW) for trucks/trailers as stipulated in the amended IRR of R.A. 8794 or otherwise known as the “AN ACT IMPOSING A MOTOR VEHICLE USER’S CHARGE ON OWNERS OF ALL TYPES OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

To strengthen the policy, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson requested DTI, PEZA, PPA and Port Operators to conduct actual weighing of cargoes and trucks/trailers that transport cargoes as well as to advise importers and exporters to abide by the load limit. The weight ticket issued by the said entities will be honored by the DPWH personnel in the weighing stations as basis for compliance to the GVW and axle load limits in the IRR.

Food Safety Act signed into law

October 09, 2013

President Benigno Aquino has signed into law on Aug. 23 Republic Act No. 10611, a bill aimed at protecting consumers from trade malpractices and substandard or hazardous products.

RA 10611 otherwise known as the “Food Safety Act of 2013”, lays down a broad framework that sets the benchmark for food safety in various stages such as harvest to the manufacture, processing, handling, packaging, distribution, marketing, food preparation until its consumption.

With RA 10611, the food safety regulatory system in the country, including the audits on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analyses at Critical Control Points (HACCP), shall be strengthened to enhance consumer and industry confidence. The law will contribute to economic growth and development by promoting fair trade practices and sound regulatory basis for food products for sale in the domestic and international markets. RA 10611 can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph/downloads/FoodSafety.pdf.

BIR releases the implementing rules and regulations of Common Carriers Tax Act

October 09, 2013

The Bureau of Internal Revenue recently issued Revenue Regulations No. 15-2013 which implements Republic Act No. 10378 or the “Common Carriers Tax (CCT) law last September 20, 2013. It will take effect on October 9, 2013.

R.A. 10378 rationalizes the taxes paid by international carriers in the country. With this issuance, international carriers may now avail of the exemption from income tax on their gross revenues derived from the carriage of persons and their excess baggage based on the principle of reciprocity to which the Philippines is a signatory. The law also provides for the exemption of international carriers from Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Common Carriers Tax on their carriage of passengers.

It may be recalled that EDC supported the bill and advocated for its passage. Further advocacies will be on the exemption of cargoes from CCT charges in the 16th Congress.

DENR reiterates ban on export of raw rattan

October 09, 2013

Undersecretary Demetrio L. Ignacio, Jr. of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently issued a memorandum dated 01 August 2013 reiterating the prohibition of the exportation of raw rattan including poles. This was made in response to the issues raised to the EDC by the furniture and wood manufacturers regarding the alleged massive exportation of raw rattan poles that resulted to scarcity of supply to the local industry and increase in prices of rattan poles.

This prohibition is also indicated under Resolution No. 01 dated 29 November 2011 of the Inter-Agency Committee on Executive Order No. 1016 entitled “Approving the Revised List of Prohibited and Regulated Products for Exports referred to as Annex A of the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing Presidential Decree No. 930 as well as Section 4, of the Rules and Regulations Implementing Executive Order No. 1016”.

Concerned agencies especially the regional and provincial offices of DENR and the Bureau of Customs in all ports were provided with copies of the memorandum to ensure that no Export Authorities are issued on raw rattan poles. Interested stakeholders may download the DENR Memo at http://edc.net.ph/downloads/Rattan.jpg.

Filipino professionals asked to prepare for the ASEAN 2015: Movement of Natural Persons

October 09, 2013

"ASEAN 2015 is now na, not tomorrow or December 31, 2015,” said PRC Chair Teresita Manzala during the recently concluded National Education Forum. According to her, whether we like it or not, and whether we are ready or not, the ASEAN Economic Community is going to push through and we have no other choice but to be ready and face the challenges head on.

According to her, Mode 4 or the movement of natural persons is one area in the AEC where we have strong comparative advantage. Under this mode, the country’s positioning will depend largely on the our strategic interest in signing Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) in order to protect our overseas workers and support a more rules-based framework to open up access to economies of interest to our skilled workers. “Since our education system is different from our ASEAN neighbors, we need to agree on a clear set of skills and competencies acceptable to the needs of the ASEAN economies”, she continued.

The Philippine Qualifications Framework will be of great help to the MRAs. The country, being the lead economy in the ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) can make adjustments in aligning and complementing the Philippine Qualifications Framework with that of other ASEAN counterparts.

DOST offers services in improving technology and priming SMEs for AEC 2015

September 25, 2013

During the Roundtable Discussion on Priming Philippine SMEs for the 2015 ASEAN Integration held last 13 August 2013 at the UPISSI, DOST Undersecretary Carol M. Yorobe offered the services of DOST to improve the technology and production efficiency of SMEs for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. These services can be availed through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). The SETUP program is a strategy to enhance productivity and competitiveness of MSMEs through technological innovations & upgrading of products and processes. USec. Yorobe mentioned that this can be achieved through the following: infusion of appropriate technology, training, technical assistance & consultancy services, functional packages and label, attainment of product standards & testing, and assistance for technology acquisition. She added that the SETUP Expanded Priority Sectors includes food processing, furniture, agriculture & horticulture, aquatic & marine, metals & engineering, agriculture & horticulture, gifts, decors & handicrafts (GDH), and health products, services & pharmaceuticals.

With an initial fund of PHP15.36M in 2002, the fund was raised to PHP500M to increase support for the adoption of appropriate technologies and innovations for SMEs to compete with the global market. There are 1,951 SETUP assisted projects nationwide which cover provision of training, technical assistance, consultancy services and assistance on technology acquisition in the regions. DOST developed technologies are available in the “One-Stop Information Shop in the Philippines” website at http://www.oist.dost.gov.ph/ while assisted firms nationwide are featured at http://webgis.dost.gov.ph

To avail of this technology upgrade assistance, SMEs may contact the nearest DOST provincial or regional office or the Office of the Undersecretary for Regional Operations, DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig.

PIDS, MAP advise SMEs to prepare for AEC 2015

September 25, 2013

In a recent forum at the UP Institute of Small-Scale Industries (UPISSI), SMEs were urged by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on how SMEs can prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community which is set on December 31, 2015.

Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba, Vice President of PIDS advises the SMEs to link with large companies. Hence, SMEs should look at their respective industry’s supply chain and identify the gaps in which they can make a difference. In other words, the small industries should look at large industries as their markets. She added that this is the time to equip their workers with the necessary skills that will make them more productive. Also, SMEs should take advantage of the common service facilities that the DTI has put up or will be established for their industries. These advice are in addition to her recommendations to government to address horizontal issues like SME capacity building, strengthening emerging industries, investment promotion, lowering the power cost, logistics and infrastructure.

On the other hand, Mr. Junie del Mundo of MAP advises SMEs to build their brands starting with the ABC of branding: A-Audit the environment, meaning SMEs should understand AEC, benchmark with ASEAN producers of the same product, gather data and identify partners in ASEAN. Learn from other countries. B- Build values and roadmap. If possible join regional awards and develop partnerships. C- Communicate their products and companies to a wider audience such as networking meetings and forums and use the social media in marketing their products.

Unused ORs still valid until October 31, 2013

September 25, 2013

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Memorandum Circular no. 52-2013 clarifying the validity of unused/unissued principal and supplementary receipts/invoices printed before January 18, 2013. All Principal and Supplementary Receipts/Invoices with Authority to Print (ATP) dated January 1, 2011 to January 17, 2013 may be used until October 31, 2013, provided that new ATP was issued on or before August 30, 2013. However, application for new ATP filed after April 30, 2013 is deemed to have been filed out of time and subject to a penalty of one thousand pesos (Php 1000) pursuant to Section 264 of the Tax Code, as amended.

The Term “valid until October 31, 2013 only” shall be stamped prominently in front of the receipt or invoices (original and duplicate copies) in all principal and supplementary receipts which can still be used until October 31, 2013. Without the stamp, no deduction and input tax may be claimed using these receipts/invoices.

EDC creates the Networking Committee on ASEAN Economic Community 2015

August 12, 2013

The EDC Executive Committee (ExCom) created the Networking Committee on ASEAN Economic Community (NC-AEC) 2015. The EDC ExCom recognizes the need to adapt Philippine competitiveness in fields like market intelligence, technology upgrade, innovation, research & development, etc. in order that Philippine export competitiveness be sustained in ASEAN. The NC-AEC aims to prepare exporters to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by AEC while addressing the competitive challenges of integrating into the regional and global economies. The said public-private group which will be headed by Amb. Donald Dee, will focus on advocating solutions to issues that will help achieve the said objectives.

Department of Public Works and Highways suspends gross vehicle weight rule until 2014

August 12, 2013

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has temporarily suspended the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW) specifically on codes 12-2 and 12-3, which carries load of 41,500 and 42,000 kilograms respectively as prescribed in the revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 8794, otherwise known as the “Anti- Overloading Act”. Categorized under Code 12-2 are truck semitrailers with three axles at motor vehicle and two-axles at trailer for a total of 18 wheels while Code 12-3 are truck semitrailers with three axles at motor vehicle and three axles at trailer for a total 22 wheels.

The temporary suspension is effective until January 31, 2014, as requested by truckers and haulers to give them more time to upgrade their transport equipment to conform with the latest GVW.

The EDC Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics sees the adverse effect of implementing the policy primarily on the increase in cost and delay/ inefficiency in the delivery of export goods. The Committee urged the DPWH to harmonize the guidelines on the GVW and the axle existing load policy.

Amendment to the Cabotage Law: A Priority

August 12, 2013

The amendment to the cabotage law has been a constant advocacy of the EDC for the past three Congresses. This has been identified as one of the root cause for the high shipping cost, a barrier to domestic and foreign trade especially of Philippine micro, small and medium exporters.

Just recently, Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez filed House Bill 1789 to repeal and modify certain sections of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004.

Now, that the President supports the amendment of the cabotage law as pronounced in his State of the Nation Address, EDC will be twice as strong and steadfast in pushing for this advocacy in the 16th Congress.

EDC opposes the increase in FDA Fees

August 12, 2013

The Export Development Council (EDC) expressed its strong opposition on the “Proposed 2013-2014 Schedule of Fees and Rationalization Services of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)”. Based on the analysis made by the EDC, the increase in fees in FDA ranges from 900% to 4,000%.

EDC sees the exorbitant increase in fees will heavily burden the already struggling food, cosmetics and drug industries. All these increase in costs will render our products uncompetitive not only in the world market, but also in the domestic front, especially in the coming ASEAN Economic Integration in 2015. It will also negatively affect the Philippines’ competitiveness ranking due to the high cost and longer time in the processing of permits and licenses.

EDC recommended to conduct a public hearing where all stakeholders, especially SMEs will be invited to air their side and for FDA to explicate the increase in fees and respond to other issues that need to be addressed

BSP encourages hedging for exporters

August 12, 2013

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) encourages exporters to hedge their dollars and other currencies in order to protect them from foreign exchange rate fluctuations. This was announced in the recently held BSP Briefing for Exporters.

Hedging is similar to an insurance coverage that people acquire to protect themselves from incurring possible losses due to unfavourable event that may take place in the future.

During the said briefing for exporters, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) announced that it offers hedge accounts for export transactions as low as US$20,000.

Earlier, EDC called the attention of BSP on behalf of Small and Medium Exporters who could not avail of hedging since some banks require a minimum of US$100,000 transaction. It was noted that SME exporters deliver exports for as low as US$10,000.00

Department of Finance designates additional signatory at the Revenue Office

July 09, 2013

Exporters, Customs Brokers and other stakeholders are advised to be guided by DOF Department Personnel Order No. 215-2012 which designates additional signatory at the Revenue Office. All papers and action documents for the signature of the Undersecretary of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group may be signed by its Assistant Secretary or the Director IV of the Legal Affairs Office when the Undersecretary is unable to sign the same.

The Revenue Office is responsible for processing applications for exemption from payment of duties and taxes on importations of qualified applicants and chartered entities. It also reviews discussions of the BOC in seizure, forfeiture, dumping, auction, abatement and refunds, protest and other tariff and customs related cases.

DOF Department Personnel Order No. 215-2012 can be downloaded at: http://edc.net.ph

DBFTA Information Sessions schedule for the month of July 2013

July 09, 2013

To increase awareness as well as foster appreciation for the benefits of the AEC, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has organized a series of information session for exporters, distributors, traders, customs brokers, freight forwarders, members of the academe and other government agencies.

Every Tuesday for the month of July, the focus of the DBFTA information sessions will be on standards and conformance. ASEAN aims to facilitate trade in goods, not only through the granting of preferential tariffs among member states but also through harmonization of national standards with international standards and implementation of mutual recognition arrangements on conformity assessments.

The information sessions will be at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on July 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the AVRoom, Ground Floor, DTI-International Building, 375 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City.

For inquiries and confirmation contact DTI-BETP at 465-3317 loc.202, 465-3320 loc. 220 and email felberay@yahoo.com.

ASENSO financing program to empower SMEs

July 09, 2013

The Access of Small Enterprises to Sound Lending Opportunities (ASENSO) is a government led MSME financing program which builds on the gains of the SULONG initiative. Under the said program, financial institutions extend loans to small and medium enterprises providing them with manageable terms to help them expand and grow their businesses.

Like SULONG, ASENSO is implemented by different government financial institutions (GFIs), following a common and simplified lending requirements, procedures and guidelines to allow SMEs better access to credit facilities.

The program is open to SMEs engaged in all industries except trading of imported goods, liquor, cigarettes and extractive industries. They should be at least 60% Filipino-owned companies. Eligibility criteria includes SME clients with asset size of above Php3.0 M but not more than Php100 M, excluding the value of the land on which the business is located. The company should also comply with the GFIs Risk Assets Acceptance Criteria (RAAC) which includes the 5 c’s: character; capacity; condition; collateral and capital.

Interested SMEs may approach the following GFIs: LandBank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines(DBP), Small Business Corporation (SBC), National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Social Security System (SSS).

Investment conference features industry clusters for SMEs

July 09, 2013

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized last month the Investment Conference dubbed: “Investing in Priority Industry Clusters for SMEs”. The event promoted investments in the country’s priority industry clusters and showcased their competitive advantages.

Twenty four (24) industry clusters are being assisted by DTI and JICA through the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement project (NICCEP), a major component of the DTI’s big push for SME development. By way of the industry cluster approach, DTI has forged alliances with development partners, NGOs and NGAs to nurture competitive and innovative small and medium enterprises throughout the country.

More information on the NICCEP project may be found in: http://www.niccep.dti.gov.ph

Mindanao Export Congress to highlight export value chain integration and innovation technology

July 09, 2013

The PHILEXPORT Region XI – Davao Chapter will mount an exhibit at the Mindanao Export Congress (MEC) on August 1-3, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, featuring Export Value Chain Integration and Innovation Technology.

MEC is a gathering of export industry stakeholders from all over the island including exporters, farmers, manufacturers, forwarders, shipping lines, banks and allied service providers. The event focuses on the symbiotic relationship of the various industries within the Mindanao export value chain. It is also a venue for sharing the latest developments, business opportunities and technological innovations to strengthen the Mindanao export industry.

The exhibit will showcase fresh and processed food like bananas, cacao, coconut and coconut by-products, tuna and seaweeds among others.

Parties interested in exhibiting and sourcing, may contact the PHILEXPORT Region XI - Davao thru mobile nos. (0943) 4961616; (0942) 6496999; (0932) 9272918; (0920) 4117446; (0923) 6088514; (0922) 6071450 or email: mec11@philexportdavao.org.ph

Philippine Green+Design Furniture competition 2013 Kicks off

July 09, 2013

The Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) in cooperation with the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) recently launched the " Philippine Green+Design Furniture Competition 2013,” to recognize the exceptional skills of Filipino designers and design students in creating excellent furniture eco-design concepts.

The Competition aims to promote green design to Filipino furniture manufacturers, designers, and design students with the utilization of sustainable materials as components or in combination with other materials. It also aims to develop green furniture standards to suit the domestic and international markets and create consumer awareness and interest on green furniture.

Criteria for judging entries include uniqueness and commercial appeal, innovative eco-design with the use of indigenous and sustainable materials, efficient construction and use of resources, and air effluent and solid waste management impact.

Application form and mechanics may be downloaded from www.pddcp.gov.ph or www.cfip.ph. Deadline for submission of entries is on July 25, 2013.

Canada GSP Certificate of Origin No Need for Customs Signature

June 11, 2013

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recently informed the Philippine Embassy in Canada on the changes in Canada’s administration of Preferential Tariff Treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with respect to Certificate of Origin.

For eligible products, Canada will not require Form A (Certificate of Origin) to be stamped and signed by a designated certifying body in the country of export (in case of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs). The exporter may complete and sign the Certificate of Origin stating that the goods meet the requirements for preferential trade. Also, as an alternative to Form A, an Exporter’s Statement of Origin may be attached to the invoice in order to claim preferential tariff treatment in Canada.

The changes will be favorable to Philippine exporters of goods eligible for GSP Preferential Tariffs. It will also improve the competitiveness of exporters by reducing the costs and time in the issuance of Certificate of Origin.

For more information, you may visit the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d11/d11-4-4-eng.pdf

Bureau of Customs activates the Green Lane for export

June 11, 2013

The Bureau of Customs-Management Information System and Technology Group (BOC-MISTG) recently announced the activation of the Green Lane Selectivity for exports. This was in response to the request of the Export Development Council after submitting its preliminary assessment on the implementation of the Automated Export Documentation System (E2M-AEDS) with the end in view of enhancing certain procedures to be able to meet the objectives of the project.

The activation of the Green Lane will reduce the costs and time in processing the export shipments because it will eliminate the need to submit the printed Export Declaration – Single Administrative Document

(ED-SAD) to the Export Division or unit concerned. It will automatically instruct the exporter to pay the Documentary Stamp Fee (DSF) through an Authorized Agent Bank. Once paid, an exporter may then proceed to the loading of his cargoes.

BOC-MISTG also announced that it will continue to review the selectivity criteria setup in E2M, together with the Risk Management Office (RMO) of the Bureau of Customs, to further improve the parameters of the Selectivity System.

PPA approves 10% provisional increase in Cargo Handling Tariff, despite EDC, PHILEXPORT & PCCI opposition

June 11, 2013

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) issued Memorandum Circular No.04-2013 dated April 11, 2013 approving the provisional 10% increase in Cargo Handling tariff in arrastre and stevedoring services and other cargo handling related charges on foreign and domestic cargoes.

This increase went through despite the opposition of the Export Development Council (EDC), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) to the petition for the increase in fees.

The rate hike will apply “to all cargo handling operators nationwide who have individually petitioned and submitted the required matrix of operating expenses with audited financial statements”. The specific comparative rates are not immediately available.

It is noted that the 10% provisional increase does not include Ro-Ro terminal fee.

To address this issue, the EDC and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) advocate to repeal the Letter of Instruction 1005-A to remove PPA’s conflict of interest as port operator and regulator as well as beneficiary of port charges. The repeal is expected to help lower shipping cost in the country.

National Quality Infrastructure Launched

June 11, 2013

To strengthen capacity and enhance export competitiveness, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the launching of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) for the Philippines hosted by the Philippine Metrology, Standards, Testing & Quality (PhilMSTQ) Inc. and Physikalisch Technische Bundeanstalt (PTB) of Germany. The launching was held last 23 May 2013 at the Mandarin Hotel,

The launch was a move to implement the strategy under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016 to integrate and coordinate series of activities that involve metrology, standardization, testing, accreditation and certification. This infrastructure will provide opportunities to SMEs/exporters/manufacturers to have their products and services certified for quality.

The event highlighted the Study on the Philippine NQI and Government Regulatory Practices presented by Mr. Jon Echanove, Standards and Conformance Key Expert under the EU - Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) Project 2 and Ms. Cirila S. Botor, Standards and Conformance Consultant and President, PhilMSTQ and the presentation of the NQI Best Practices: An International Experience by Dr. Clemens Senetra, NQI Expert – PTB.

The NQI study recommends the establishment of a single NQI Policy and Strategy which will be supported and endorsed by regulators and all relevant stakeholders. It also presented recommendations to help regulators continue to provide means for the improvement of the country’s NQI based on its identified strength and weaknesses.

“We are advocating because we need policies that will harmonize the discordant and outdated laws and put in place the NQI system that will ensure the protection of consumers, enable importers and exporters to access the global market, provide regulators and manufacturers with a verifiable process to ensure compliance with the legislative requirements, give SMEs a chance to access best practices, and guarantee predictability and technical coherence to attract investments,” Botor explained.

PHILEXPORT Direct lines

June 11, 2013

In view of the temporary inavailability of trunk lines of PHILEXPORT, following direct lines will be used for incoming and outgoing calls:

    Telephone #                Division / Department 
   1.  831.0231               Office of the President 
   2.  831.0282               Office of the President  
   3.  831.0264               Accounting, Treasury & Comptrollership
   4.  831.0318               Operation Division
   5.  831.2023               Promotion Division
   6.  831.2140               Admin Services
   7.  831.3707               Membership
   8.  833.9750               System Development

Our new telephone numbers

May 22, 2013

Export Development Council (EDC) - 465-3329, 8904645

Bureau of Export Trade Promotions (BETP) - 465-3316

Bureau of International Relations (BITR) - 465-3353

Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) - 465-3380

DTI International Bldg. Trunk line connecting to all offices – 465-3300

Sec. Domingo endorses the ASEAN RORO initiative to the President

May 22, 2013

Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Gregory L. Domingo endorses the establishment of the Davao-General Santos to Bitung, Indonesia Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) route initiative to the President.

The initiative is part of the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity which is spearheaded by the governments of the Philippines and Indonesia. The masterplan contains the Philippine plan to establish an ASEAN Roll-on/Roll-off shipping network as one of the key strategies to enhance physical connectivity in the region.

This maritime connectivity will serve as a bridge between Mindanao and North Sulawesi for economic development of these two regions. It will also promote trade, tourism and investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. Most importantly, it will forge a deeper relationship between the two countries and contribute to the economic integration of the ASEAN.

The initiative was fully supported by all private stakeholders such as the Export Development Council (EDC), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), Asian Marine Transport Corporation (AMTC), operator and owner of the super shuttle, will ply the maiden voyage which is hoped to be graced by the President, National Competitiveness Council (NCC), and Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP) also support the initiative.

BETP launches awareness campaign on ASEAN Economic Community

May 22, 2013

The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is calling the exporters, distributors, traders, customs brokers, freight forwarders, members of the academe and other government agencies to join the series of information sessions on Doing Business in Free Trade Areas.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and other free trade agreements signed by the Philippines presents numerous benefits to businesses, including preferential tariff rates, harmonization of standards and more liberal regimes in trade in services and investment. Said sessions will increase awareness about the benefits of the AEC and will provide a general overview of the AEC and the Philippine free trade agreements.

The series of session will be conducted at the AVR, Ground Floor, DTI-International Building, 375 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City on the following dates: 16 May 2013 (Thursday), 21 May 2013 (Tuesday), 28 May 2013 (Tuesday) and 30 May 2013 (Thursday). For inquiries and confirmation of attendance, please contact DTI-BETP c/o Josephine Sabas or Felix Reyes at telephone nos. 465-3317 loc 202; 465-3320 loc. 220 or email ruirui21_g@yahoo.com, felbarey@yahoo.com

DTI's programs for competitiveness

May 22, 2013

The Department of Trade and Industry through its Center for Industrial Competitiveness (CIC) is offering quality and productivity programs for industrial competitiveness to both private and public sector organizations. The program is in line with the agency’s thrust to make private and public entities become globally competitive.

Exporters and other sectors may avail of the following programs and request trainings from CIC to help them improve the quality of their work and enhance their productivity:

Pres. Aquino approves the instrument of ratification of the 2nd ASEAN pilot project on Self-Certification

May 22, 2013

Malacañang recently issued the Instrument of Ratification on the “Memorandum of Understanding among the Governments of the Participating Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Second Pilot Project for the Implementation of a Regional Self-Certification System”, signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The 2nd ASEAN Pilot Project on Self-Certification System will commence among three participating ASEAN Member States namely: Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. It will allow a “certified exporter” to declare and self-certify the ASEAN exported product in the Invoice Declaration. This will reduce the documents and procedures associated in the processing of the Certificate of Origin at the customs authorities of both exporting and importing parties.

To implement this system in the Philippines, a draft Executive Order (EO) will be endorsed by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to Pres. Aquino. Subsequently, the Bureau of Customs will issue a Customs Administrative Order (CAO) and Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) based on the consultation made with the stakeholders last March 5, 2013.

Export Clearances exempted from increase in fees under AO 31

April 04, 2013

The DOF-DBM-NEDA Joint Circular No. 1-2013 issued by the Task Force on Fees and Charges implementing AO 31 exempted fees that have been eliminated by Executive Order No. 554.

AO 31 directed all heads of departments, bureaus, commissions, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned and/or controlled corporations, to rationalize the rates of their fees and charges, increase their existing rates and impose new fees and charges while EO 554 directed all government agencies to improve the competitiveness of the country’s export sector by eliminating the fees and charges imposed on export clearances, inspections, permits, certificates, and other documentation requirements.

The Export Development Council (EDC) recommended that all existing executive issuances relative to the strengthening of the export sector shall remain in force and all concerned agencies shall simplify and minimize procedures relative to business compliance requirement.

With this exemption, EDC hopes to continually safeguard its objective to promote, protect and facilitate export initiatives by doing away with high cost of administrative and documentation requirements which has been identified as among the factors that lessen the competitiveness of Philippine exports.

To download the Joint Circular click the link bellow:
DOF-DBM- NEDA Joint Circular No. 1-2013

Foreign carriers exempted from Common Carriers Tax

April 04, 2013

President Aquino has signed new measures last March 7, 2013 that rationalize the taxes paid by international carriers in the country. The new regulation is R.A. 10378 “An act recognizing the principle of reciprocity as basis for the grant of income tax exemptions to International Carriers and rationalizing other taxes imposed thereon by amending sections 28(A)(3)(a), 109, 118 and 236 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended, and for other purposes.”

Under the new law, foreign carriers – both air and sea are exempted from paying the three percent Common Carriers Tax (CCT) imposed on passengers. This signals more tourist traffic and facilitates connectivity with other countries.

With this, the EDC appreciates the efforts of the administration for passing the bill since it will enhance the competitiveness of the aviation sector of the Philippines. EDC will further work on the exemption of cargoes from CCT charges and propose a bill in the 16th Congress.

Cheaper electricity for SMEs forthcoming

April 04, 2013

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that cheaper electricity will be available to all customers consuming an average of 1megawatt (MW) or more, through the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) scheme. In the new scheme, all Contestable Customer will have the first opportunity to avail of cheaper electricity as they can now choose their power supplier nearest to their location. DOE further announced that the migration to open access is mandatory to all customers in the ERC list of Contestable Customers. For SMEs to qualify as Contestable Customer, one must register with the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) until June 26, 2013 when RCOA will be fully implemented. Details and requirements can be accessed at:http://www.wesm.ph/inner.php/news/notices/wesm_advisories/218

This information is being disseminated through forums organized by the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) in cooperation with the Export Development Council (EDC), DOE and PHILEXPORT which started last March 14, 2013. Succeeding sessions in Luzon and Visayas will be announced later according to Ms. Agnes Perpetua Legaspi OIC, BETP - Trade Industry and Assistance Group (TIAG).

Exporters invited to the Consultation on ASEAN Self-Certi​fication System

March 01, 2013

The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) in cooperation with the Export Development Council – Networking Committee on Trade Policy and Procedures Simplification  (EDC-NCTPPS) invites exporters to a Consultative Meeting on the “2nd Pilot Project for the ASEAN Self-Certification System” scheduled on 5 March 2013, 8:00am – 4:00pm at the Penthouse, 5th floor, DTI International Bldg., Makati City.

The Self-Certification scheme eliminates the application for a Certificate of Origin (Form D) in claiming tariff preferences as it allows “Certified Exporters” to self-declare that their products have satisfied the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement – Rules of Origin (ATIGA-ROO) by simply making a declaration on the commercial invoice.

The 2nd Pilot Project is the implementation of the Self-Certification for trade between and among the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos. The consultative meeting aims to streamline the certification procedures by soliciting comments / inputs from stakeholders on the draft Customs Administrative Order (CAO) and Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) that will implement the 2nd Pilot Project.

Interested parties may call the BETP at telephone number: 8904718 or email at Exponet@dti.gov.ph

65% of Arangkada recommendations are active

March 01, 2013

The Joint Foreign Chambers recently released the top-level results of the Arangkada Philippines Second Anniversary Assessment. Sixty-Five percent (65%) of the Arangkada recommendations are considered to be active/moving. Some of these recommendations which affect exporters are: encouraging ASEAN to develop common rules for their agricultural markets; reduction of domestic shipping costs and legislative reforms such as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act; Anti-trust and the amendment of the charter of the Philippine Ports Authority.

This is a notable improvement compared to last year’s assessment which had only about 51.5% of recommendations being actively acted upon.

Although the figures were encouraging for investors, “the realization of the country’s potential remains a distant but achievable goal, there is still much that needs to be done," according to AmCham President Rhicke Jennings.

For the full Arangkada assessment log on to:http://www.investphilippines.info/forum/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/arangkada-assessment-2013.pdf

PNP-HPG partners with private sector to curb highway robbery

February 13, 2013

The Philippine National Police- Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), in partnership with the Port Users Confederation (PUC) reported that there is no more hijacking in 2012 in NCR and such crime significantly decreased in other regions.

It may be recalled that exporters have been victims of hijacking and highway robbery of their shipments. PUC and other business support organizations have worked with PNP through the Anti- Hijacking Forum. The last forum was held at the Traders Hotel last January 30, 2013.

During the dialogue, the PNP assured the public to deploy more personnel along the main roads for police visibility. The collaboration with various stakeholders helped prevent such crimes.

The PNP further advises exporters and importers to report hijacking and highway robbery incidents to the following Police Officers:

1. Quezon City Area: PSUPT Lopez, Manaranay- 09063745375 and 7261261
2. Bulacan Area: PCI Germino, Ferdinand- 09159748000
3. Cavite Area: PCI Laygo, Mark Joseph- 0916338878
4. Batangas Area: PSI Pagulayan, Arnel- 09164389326
5. Pampanga Area: PCI Villarosa, Joselito- 09189249488
6. Tarlac: PSI Mangacop Sally- 09216761109
7. Nueva Ecija Area: PCI Tria Palmer- 09174892273
8. Bataan Area: PCI Gaya, Bienvenido- 09202046529
9. Zambales Area: PSI Ganao, Isabelo- 09399032577
10. Quezon Province: PCI Moreno, Ruel 09156065365

Credit Information Corporation advises exporters to build good credit data

February 13, 2013

Credit Information Corporation (CIC) President Baltazar Endriga advised exporters to “be good debtors by paying dues on time. By doing so, their access to credit will be much much easier.” Good paying habits, he said, leads to good credit information about exporters and MSMEs. Thus, it will facilitate access to credit. He also advised that businessmen should start building a good record of credit, preferably now, even before the credit information bureau is fully operational by the first quarter of 2015.

Further, Endriga also underscored that in the next three years, the credit bureau will focus on the following: (1) capture of both positive and negative credit information from banks; (2) capture of credit information from telecommunication companies (e.g. Smart and Globe) and retailers (including credit card data); and (3) legal access of borrowers to their own data. Focusing on these three points would assure the Philippines to jump to another three notches in the competitiveness ranking.

The CIC was created by Republic Act 9510 or the Credit Information System Act of 2008. It is owned by the government, chaired by the Securities and Exchange Commissioner and supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Common Carriers Tax Bill approved in Senate

January 10, 2013

The Senate of the Philippines approved the Senate Bill No. 3343 otherwise known as the Common Carriers Tax Bill on the third and final reading. The bill seeks to exempt international carriers and shippers from paying the 3% common carriers tax and the 2.5% on gross Philippine billings tax on condition of reciprocity.

The removal of these airline and shipping taxes will improve the present situation where Philippine tax policies seem to directly contravene tourism goals. It will help establish the country as a tourism hub and elevate its status as a gateway to Asian neighbours. Moreover, it will boost tourist arrivals and help increase the capacity of local and foreign carriers to maintain or expand their operation in the country.

The Export Development Council (EDC) hails this legislative measure to help exporters in terms of lessening transportation cost and greater availability of carriers for their export shipments.

Top Exporters recognized at the National Export Congress

January 10, 2013

The Department of Trade and Industry in cooperation with the Export Development Council (EDC) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. recognized 32 top performing exporters per sector and 2 business support organizations for their exemplary efforts in boosting the country’s export performance. The recognition was conferred during the National Export Congress held last December 5, 2012 at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Roxas Blvd, Pasay City.

The National Export Congress which is the highlight of the National Exporters' Week 2012 (December 1-7, 2012) centered on the theme “Mabuhay ka, Exporter!” in recognition of the pursuit of the country’s more than 8,000 exporters to improve their export standards and product quality in order to maintain their competitiveness in the international trade.

The top export performers are: Amkor Technology Philippines, Inc. (Semiconductor Devices), Toshiba Information Equipment (Phils) Inc. (Computer Peripherals); Astec Power Phils, Inc. (Consumer Electronics); Temic Automotive (Phils) Inc. (Automotive Electronics), Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, Inc. (Motor Vehicle Parts); HHIC-Phils, Inc. (Shipbuilding); Nestle Phils, Inc. (Dairy Products); Wrigley Phils, Inc. (Confectionery Products); Del Monte Phils, Inc. (Prepared/Preserved Fruits); Profood Int’l. Corp. (Dried Fruits); Superstar Coconut Products Company, Inc. (Processed Coconut-Food); Marigold Mfg. Corp. (Mixed Seasonings & Condiments); Alter Trade Corporation (Muscovado Sugar); ED & F MAN Phils, Inc. (Refined Sugar); Philbest Canning Corp. (Tuna); HJR Int’l Corp. (Crustaceans); Fisher Farms, Inc. (Milkfish); General Tuna Corp. (Sardines); Marcel Trading Corp. (Carrageenan); Diageo Phils, Inc. (Alcoholic Beverages); Dole Phils, Inc. (Fresh Fruits);, San Miguel Foods, Inc. (Poultry Meat); Bay Designs, Inc. (Fine Jewelry); Unijel Int’l. Trading, Inc. (Costume Jewelry); D'Luxe Bag Phils. (Handbags, Belts/Headgear & Travel Goods); Choose Your Shoes Phils, Inc. (Footwear); Hamlin Industrial Corp. (Garments); Duru's Industries Corp. (Basketworks); Geuel Handicrafts (Holiday Decors); Dedon Mfg, Inc. (Furniture), Regwill Industries Inc. (Coconut Coir), and Cargill Oil Mills Phils, Inc. (Coconut Oil).

Special recognition was given to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).

According to Director Senen M. Perlada, of the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) and EDC, “The certificates of recognition are DTI’s way of affirming the efforts of our partner exporters in continuing to raise the quality of their products and services to maintain the country’s competitiveness in the region. It is, at the same time, our way of encouraging our partner-exporters to continue to face up to the challenges of international trade, including the continuing appreciation of the peso which may take its toll on our exporters’ price competitiveness.”

PDDCP extends access to WGSN to exporters

January 10, 2013

Philexport Members and non-members can now access the WGSN-homebuildlife provided by the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP).

The WGSN-homebuildlife, is the pioneering online product design and development tool, created exclusively for the interiors market. It is trusted by the biggest retail and design brands in the world to deliver unmatched expertise in 15 product categories, including: furniture, lighting, print and pattern, bedding, bath and tabletop, to name a few.

Exporters are encouraged to use and take advantage of the WGSN subscription to get more trends, design and consumer leads.

For more information, please contact Ms. Dinah Castrence through communications@philexport.ph or through telephone 833-2531 to 34. Users are required to bring their laptop.

Exporters called to the 2012 National Export Congress

December 10, 2012

Exporters, concerned business support organizations, academe, and government agency partners are enjoined to attend the National Export Congress to be held at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) on December 5, 2012, from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

The National Export Congress is the main activity of the 17th National Exporters’ Week set on December 1-7, 2012. This year’s theme is “MABUHAY KA, EXPORTER!”.

True to its theme, the National Export Congress will recognize the Top Export Performers and business support organizations which have been partnering with government for the development and promotion of Philippine exports. There will also be discussions on Export Innovation, Productivity, Competitiveness and Export Facilitation.

Exhibits and Help Desks of Agency Partners will be mounted at the PTTC lobby to provide information and advisory services to participants and guests.

The Congress is organized by the Export Development Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.

Other activities lined-up for the week-long celebration are Buy Pinoy Exporters Fair at the MegaTrade Hall on November 29-December 2, Usapang Exports at the DTI International, Exporters Bazaar, and Academe Outreach.

AO 31: A Bundle of Export Challenge

December 04, 2012

On October 1, 2012 the President issued Administrative Order No. 31, directing and authorizing all heads of departments, bureaus, commissions, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the national government, including GOCCs, to rationalize the rates of their fees and charges, increase their existing rates and impose new fees and charges.

EDC is taking steps to safeguard the interest of the export sector by reminding all concerned government agencies of policy issuances directed to support and promote export competitiveness. This will include the duty to relay to government departments tasked to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations, namely NEDA, DOF and DBM, to consider all existing executive and legislative issuances that recognize, promotes, protect and champion export competitiveness through facilitation of export procedures.

Customs issues Guidelines on e-Permits/Clearances of Import/Export Cargoes

December 04, 2012

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 12-2012, dated 7 November 2012, prescribing the procedure in verifying the authenticity of documents and tagging of e-permits/clearances of import/export cargoes issued by concerned regulatory government agencies through the Philippine National Single Window (NSW).

The PNSW is a computerized internet-based system that allows parties involved in trade to lodge information and documents with a single entry point thereby fulfilling all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements, as mandated by Executive Order 482 dated December 27, 2005.

The CMO aims to detect any discrepancy between the e-permits/clearances and the e2m Single Administrative Document (SAD); prevent the use of fake and recycled import/export cargoes permits/clearances; expedite the clearing process of legitimate cargoes by BOC; and reduce the costs in doing business.

CMO No. 12-2012 shall be initially implemented at the Port of Manila (POM) and Manila International Container Port (MICP).

CMO No. 12-2012 can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph

PHILEXPORT celebrates 20 years of Nation Building

December 04, 2012

Twenty years of unwavering service to the industry and the country is surely a milestone worth celebrating. Thus, last October 30, 2012, PHILEXPORT celebrated its anniversary for the first time. Dubbed “ Balik-Tanaw at Pasasalamat”, the event was graced by President Benigno Aquino III and former President Fidel V. Ramos. It may be recalled that the passage of the Export Development Act (EDA) in 1994 during the Ramos administration, is one of the milestones of PHILEXPORT in the pursuit of export development in the country.

For his part, President Aquino called on the exporters to continue what they have been doing for the past several years and that he remains confident in the exporters’ ability to weather the storm. He said that he recognize the value of exports because the sector is one way the country can truly capitalize on its greatest competitive advantage, namely the Filipino people. He added that the exporters can count on the government’s support and in return, asked the exporters to also take their stand for the government as they pursue their agenda of reforms.

The event also showcased the organization’s commitment to its vision, mission and mandate of working for the continuing development of the Philippines and the prosperity of the Filipinos through exports.

LandBank designated as settlement bank for the National Single Window program

December 04, 2012

The Bureau of Treasury and BancNet Inc. recently signed an agreement designating Land Bank of the Philippines as the payment consolidator and settlement bank for collections through the NSW.

BancNet is a multi-bank, multi-channel electronic payment gateway that will enable traders to enjoy the convenience of transacting at the comfort of their own home or office by paying export-import clearances and trade related services through the BancNet Internet Payment Gateway connected to the NSW portal.

BancNet payments will be initially implemented with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

Batangas international port charges cheaper by 50% for a year

September 06, 2012

The Office of the President issued a memorandum order dated August 21, 2012 approving the 50% reduction on rates on port charges for a period of one (1) year in favor of calling vessels at the Batangas International Port. This includes the change of charging base for Dockage from per Gross Registered Tonner (GRT) per calendar year.

The Export Development Council (EDC) and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) recommended this discount through the DOTC to encourage exporters and importers to maximize the use of the Batangas International Port and to assist in decongesting Manila ports.

Department of agriculture lowers fisheries export fees

September 06, 2012

The Department of Agriculture recently issued Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 233-2, series of 2012 amending Section 1 and Section 2E of FAO 233-1, series of 2011, revising the fees and charges, including the export fees on aquatic products. It also removed the Php1,650.00 minimum export fee previously imposed by BFAR and exempted the shellcrafts using discarded shells (tahong, talaba, halaan, scallops, paros and the like) from payment of export fee on aquatic products.

The revised fees were approved by the National Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) during a consultation attended by representatives of the Export Development Council, PHILEXPORT, Home Accents Group of the Phils., Inc. (HAPI) and other aquatic and fisheries export organizations last 11 June 2012.

FAO 233-2 can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph

Subic port complex ready for logistics and investment

September 06, 2012

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) showcased the readiness of the Subic Port complex to serve the investment, logistics and shipping requirements of local and international shippers and entrepreneurs. Subic Bay’s potential as a logistics and investments hub in Asia was the focus of the discussion at the recently concluded Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibition last August 23-24, 2012 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.

The conference concluded that increased utilization of the Subic Port will substantially contribute to the much needed growth of locators, vessel operators, logistics providers, port operators and more importantly, increased revenue for the national government translated into the economic growth for the country. Maximum utilization of Subic Port as well as Batangas International Port has been the advocacy of the Export Development Council and the National Competitiveness Council.

Monetization program to allow traders convert tax credit certificates to cash

September 06, 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III recently issued Executive Order No. 68, s.2012 entitled “Monetization Program of Outstanding Value-Added Tax (VAT) Tax Credit Certificate (TCC)” which allows qualified VAT-registered taxpayers the cash equivalent of their outstanding VAT TCCs. The qualified taxpayer has the option to receive a discounted equivalent of an outstanding TCC in advance from a trustee bank, or to collect the full cash value of the TCCs after a maturity date to be determined by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Bureau of Customs.

The implementing guidelines of EO 68 is detailed in the Joint Circular 2-2012 and Joint Circular 3-2012 issued by the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs.

JC 2-2012 covers VAT TCCs jointly issued by BIR and DOF-One Stop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (OSS Center). JC 3-2012 covers import VAT portion of TCCs issued jointly by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the DOF-OSS Center for duty drawbacks pursuant to Section 106 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended and those solely issued by the BOC pursuant to Sec. 112 (A) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

To download EO 68 and Joint Circular click the link bellow:
EO 68
Joint Circular Nos. 2-2012 3-2012 and
Joint Circular Nos. 3-2012 and 3-2012

Economic cluster approves 24/7 operation in all international airports

September 06, 2012

The Cabinet Economic Cluster agreed to adopt a policy on the 24/7 shifting schedule which will be fully financed by the government. This is contained in the letter of DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas to the Board of Airlines Representatives (BAR). DOTC further advised that all government agencies performing services in international airports are directed to provide sufficient number of personnel in shifts to address operational requirement to avoid rendition of overtime.

Concerned stakeholders (i.e. Airline Companies) are advised to stop paying overtime pay to said government employees, whether in cash, in kind or in whatever form. In addition, Secretary Roxas encouraged the stakeholders to report to DOTC any violation of this policy, such as work stoppage, work slow-down or any other action that affects efficiency of their services, to enable the agency concerned to implement corrective action.

The Export Development Council (EDC) hails this policy directive as it has been advocating the 24/7 operation of Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) in ports and airports. This move will help lessen the cost of doing business of exporters.

DepEd, CHED, TESDA strengthen ties to invest in skilled workforce

September 06, 2012

The three education agencies (DepEd, CHED and TESDA), launched a strengthened trifocal system of education where alignment of curricula, qualifications and competency requirements will enable Filipino students to become the “21st Century Skilled Filipino Workforce”.

During the 1st National Technical Education and Skills Development Congress held last August 29, 2012, TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva called for the support of all stakeholders, particularly the employers sectors, to ensure that Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system responds to the needs of the industries. He added that high quality technical education and skills development is certainly one of the best investments a country can make, especially when it is accessible.

Survey on energy consumption of SMEs extended

August 12, 2012

The Export Development Council's ongoing Survey on energy consumption of SMEs to determine the actual usage of electricity has been extended until 31 August 2012in order to reach out to more SMEs nationwide.

The result of this survey will provide EDC the necessary information to find appropriate solutions to the persistent issue of increasing cost of electricity and to advocate for better alternative to reduce the cost of doing business for SMEs.

EDC requests the continued support of various Business Support Organizations to disseminate the information and ask SMEs under their specific organization to participate in this survey. Soft copy of the survey can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph/downloads/Demand and Kwh Data.xls. Data surveyed can be found in the SMEs' monthly electric bills. Accomplished survey forms may be emailed to exportdevelopmentcouncil@edc.net.ph; exportdevelopmentcouncil@gmail.com on or before 31 August. 2012.

National Single Window to phase out hard copies of permits and clearances

August 12, 2012

The Bureau of Customs announced that when the National Single Window (NSW) is implemented, it will no longer accept hard copies of import and export licenses, permits and clearances. The NSW will allow single submission and accelerated processing of applications for licenses, permits and other authorizations required prior to undertaking a trade transaction. It features an electronic dashboard where stakeholders could view the transaction status of a certain permit/clearance application.

With the introduction of the NSW human intervention would be minimized, if not totally eliminated in the process. This will eventually eliminate the issuance of fraudulent import and export licenses, permits and clearances.

E2M EADS in airports postponed

August 12, 2012

Bureau of Customs Deputy Commissioner (BOC) Ma. Caridad P. Manarang recently issued a memorandum informing the postponement of the mandatory implementation of AEDS in airports on August 1, 2012 due to the delay in the finalization and approval of a consolidated Customs Memorandum Order (CMO).

Exporters can still file the Export Declaration manually in all airports of entry or OSEDCs, until further notice from BOC.

1st ASEAN regulatory reform symposium tackles supply chain connectivity and logistics

August 12, 2012

The 1st ASEAN Regulatory Reform Agenda is one of ASEAN's flagship activities. The theme, supply chain connectivity and logistics, was chosen since they are heavily affected by regulations cutting across the four ASEAN Economic Community Pillars: a single market and production base; a competitive economic region; equitable economic development; and integration into the global economy.

The symposium identified key issues in regulatory reform efforts, broadened the knowledge-base in regulatory reform affecting the abovementioned fields, strengthened regulatory cooperation and promoted public private sector dialogue and collaboration. Recommendations were presented to the High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Economic Integration held the day after the symposium.

Dr. Henry Basilio, Co-Chair of the Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics of the Export Development Council presented a paper on the Philippine Ro-Ro System, the country's regulatory reform to enhance supply chain and inter-island connectivity. The Symposium was held last July 23, 2012 at the Manila Peninsula.

Services data gathering to be institutionalized

August 12, 2012

The National Statistics Coordination Board's (NSCB) Technical Working Group on Trade in Services (TWG-TiS) conducted a workshop towards the institutionalization of the generation of data on IT and ICT-Enabled services. This will address the concern on the timeliness of data structure and a well-established system for services statistics. Also, Private sector suggested the inclusion of some data variables in the survey form which will be conducted by NSO.

The workshop was made possible by the support of the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion and Export Development Council in cooperation with Trade Related Technical Assistance Project 2. It was participated in by government sector lead agencies in statistics like the National Statistics Office (NSO), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Board of Investments (BOI) and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Private sector leaders from Animation, Gaming, Software and Film Developers; Health Information Management; Contact Center and other BPO were also present during the workshop held on 11-13 July 2012 in Clark Pampanga

PPAs proposes 50% tariff discount in Batangas port

August 12, 2012

The Export Development Council (EDC) supports the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) proposal for a one-year fifty percent (50%) tariff discount on port charges in Batangas port to entice shippers to use the facility. PPA announced that the proposal was forwarded to the Office of the President and the Department of Transportation and Communication. This said tariff discount was aired during the last Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on Decongesting Manila Ports and Diverting Cargo Traffic to Batangas and Subic Ports. The same is a positive move by PPA which is a welcome development for the export sector.

Presently, the Batangas port is highly-underutilized as it handles only one fifth (1/5) of the current foreign cargo traffic being handled in Manila. Mr. Sean Perez, Asian Terminal, Inc. (ATI) Vice-President for commercial and marketing, clarified in the meeting that the Batangas port has the capacity to accommodate 160,000 TEU’s with the help of its (2) Quay Cranes. Hence, the question of capacity and lack of facility are not an issue. In addition, Mr. Meneleo J. Carlos of the Export Development Council (EDC) Networking Committee on Transport and Logistic urged the Government to fast-track efforts in transferring cargo traffic to Batangas and Subic Ports for the government to reap investments in said port.

EDC reaps BSP Hall of Fame Award for information sources

July 09, 2012



















The Export Development Council (EDC) received the Hall of Fame award from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for Information Sources- Balance of Payments Projections (Public Sector) during the 2012 Awards ceremony and appreciation lunch for BSP Stakeholders. The hall of fame award is given to partners that consistently provide exemplary support and contribution to the success of the BSP’s undertakings and have been recipients of the same award for 3 consecutive years.

EDC Excom Chair, Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio (right) and EDC Vice-Chair, Mr. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. (3rd from left); together with Executive Director Senen M. Perlada(2nd from left) and Deputy Executive Director, Emmarita Z. Mijares (3rd from right) received the award from BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. (2nd from right) and Monetary Board Member and Chairman of the Board of Judges Dr. Felipe M. Medalla (left).

Photos above show the EDC Officials and Staff receiving the award.

EDC conducts survey on energy consumption of SMEs

July 09, 2012

The Export Development Council is currently conducting a survey on energy consumption of SMEs to determine the actual usage of electricity for the past 18 months. The result of this survey will provide EDC the necessary information to find appropriate solutions to persistent increasing cost of electricity and better alternative to reduce the cost of doing business for SMEs.

EDC requests the support of Business Support Organizations to reach out to more SMEs to participate in this survey. Soft copy of survey can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph/downloads/Demand and Kwh Data.xls. Data surveyed can be found in the SMEs’ monthly electric bills. Accomplished survey forms may be emailed to exportdevelopmentcouncil@edc.net.ph and exportdevelopmentcouncil@gmail.com on or before 13 July 2012.

Charting of sectoral competitiveness roadmaps in full swing

July 09, 2012

The Department of Trade and Industry is taking the lead in crafting the sectoral competitiveness roadmaps of different industries in the country.

With the recent global development and high business sector optimism, the government hopes to strengthen public-private sector collaboration in charting the future of the country’s industries. The roadmaps will identify the overall and specific strategies to achieve the vision, goals and targets of the industries including the policy framework necessary for industry growth. The roadmaps will have the short-term, medium-term and long-term goals until 2030. Also, sectoral roadmapping is part of the agreed activities in the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013.

Furniture, Jewelry, Paints, Plastics, Auto-Parts, Petrochemical, and Bamboo are some of the industries that have already crafted their roadmaps.

Export point person designated at the Bureau of Customs

July 09, 2012

In response to EDC’s request to have a point person to attend to the concerns of exporters at the Bureau of Customs, Commissioner Ruffy Biazon designated Ms. Cornelia Casiano, Chief of the Export Coordination Division. She can be reached at telephone number (02) 527-4580 or through the BOC Helpdesk Hotline (02) 9173201 to 03.

Customs extends full implementation of E2M AEDS

June 15, 2012

In a memo issued by Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon, the mandatory implementation of E2M Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS) was extended on June 11, 2012. It was initially targeted on June 1, 2012 until representatives from the Export Development Council and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) requested an extension of manual processing to give time for exporters to be accredited under the Client Profile Registration System (CPRS), a pre-requisite to using the E2M AEDS.

In addition, Commissioner Biazon issued a separate memo permitting the manual processing of ED-SAD for the following:

1. When an exporter’s CPRS registration is still pending with the accrediting agency, provided that the exporter shall submit a certification from the accrediting agency concerned that their application for CPRS have been received before June 11, 2012 and that the same is still pending for approval.

2. For small-scale exporters operating under BIMP-EAGA scheme or for those exporters who export only once-a-year, their CPRS application shall be filed with the ports for approval by the District Collector concerned.

3. Upon submission of a notarized Oath of Undertaking that after June 11, 2012, they shall apply for CPRS accreditation.

ASEAN single window and national single window under way

June 15, 2012

The ASEAN Single Window (ASW) Technical Working Group convened last 22-25 May 2012 in order to facilitate trade within the ASEAN region. The Philippines committed to fully implement the E2M AEDS and National Single Window (NSW). The E2M AEDS will be linked to the National Single Window (NSW) program that hopes to automate even the clearance requirements of exporters. Once in place, this program will in turn be networked to the ASEAN Single Window where the export document from one country will already be used as import document of another country within the region.

Deputy Commissioner Ma. Caridad Manarang, chairperson of the ASEAN Single Window Steering Committee said that preparations are being undertaken for the setup and installation of network interconnections for all 40 agencies involved.

DOF plans to accept movable collateral of MSMEs

June 15, 2012

The Department of Finance (DOF) is currently collaborating with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to establish an accessible registry of collaterals such as non-vehicles, e.g., refrigerators, carts, kiosks, etc. which are being used by micro enterprises for loans from banks and other financial institutions. The IFC is working on a theory that if the collateral mechanism is electronically accessible, the financing institutions may open their lending programs to micro-enterprises. It is some sort of a character loan with collateral.

With this, the EDC hopes to help the country’s MSMEs to access financing assistance.

EDC continues to advocate granting of incentives to exporters

June 15, 2012

The Export Development Council (EDC) supports the legislative measures that seek to ensure continuous granting of investment incentives, especially to exporters, with the end view of promoting substantial social and financially sustainable economic growth, across income classes and across provinces, and are consistent with international treaties. However, these proposed legislations should not result to deprivation of existing incentives granted to our exporters.

EDC emphasized further that incentives such as exemptions or refund from taxes and duties should not be considered as a “favor” for investors, but just adherence to international practice which is part of the tax law of the country. This is under the Destination Principle where goods and services are taxed only in the country where these are consumed. In addition, the Cross Border Doctrine mandates that no VAT shall be imposed to form part of the cost of the goods destined for consumption outside the territorial jurisdiction of the taxing authority. Hence, refund of taxes and duties paid by exporters should NOT be based on any export performance such as the 70 percent or 50 percent as provided for in existing laws. This is in line with the findings of the study commissioned by the EDC under the PH-EU Trade Related Technical Assistance Project 2.

Customs to fully implement Automated Export Declaration System on 01 June 2012

May 21, 2012

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) ordered the mandatory implementation of Electronic-2-Mobile Automated Export Declaration System or E2M-AEDS effective 01 June 2012. Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon issued Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 7-2012 entitled “Supplemental Guidelines in the Implementation of the Automated Export Documentation System under E2M Customs”.

Under the E2M-AEDS, BOC will no longer accept manual processing of Export Declarations. Therefore, all exporters, forwarders, brokers and exporters' representatives should file their Export Declarations electronically through any accredited Value Added Service Provider (VASP). The accredited VASPs are Cargo Data Exchange Center Inc. (CDEC), E-Konek Pilipinas (E-Konek) and Intercommerce Network Services (INS).

The E2M-AEDS shall cover export shipments of exporters registered with the BOI, DTI-BETP and PHILEXPORT. E2M-AEDS will not be implemented yet for shipments exported from Ecozones and Freeport Zones (PEZA, CDC, SBMA, AFAB).

CMO 7-2012 can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph

EDC calls for suspension of increase in port and B/L fees

May 21, 2012

In a position paper submitted to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Export Development Council (EDC) appeals for the suspension of the petition for a twenty-one percent (21%) increase in cargo-related handling fees by the two private port operators, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminal, Inc. (ATI). EDC pointed out that these increases in port fees are one of the causes why Philippine products are getting less competitive. EDC requested the PPA Board to require these private ports to exhaust all the measures available that would cover their operation cost before they petition for another rate increase.

EDC also objected to the petition of the international shipping lines to increase the Bill of Lading (B/L) fee because of its negative effect on the country’s export competitiveness. EDC stressed that any increase in the B/L fee will put exporters, especially MSMEs, at the disadvantage due to even higher cost of shipping in the country.

GMIS Page up in DTI Website

May 21, 2012

The Global Marketing and Intelligence System’s information (GMIS) and directory of team members are now available at the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph. Exporters and other stakeholders are encouraged to visit this page for future references.

The GMIS is an operating system under Trade and Investments Promotion Group (TIPG) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that promote exports and investments in target markets. This system creates the collaboration and inspires effectiveness within DTI in promoting Philippine exports and investments.

Human resource development for industry Goes all the way to K TO 12

April 25, 2012

The K to12 Basic Education Program of the government is now on high gear for implementation. DepEd Secretary Armin B. Luistro said that “Education is everyone’s concern” during the forum on “The State of Philippine Basic Education-It’s more than just K to12” last 28 March 2012. Basic education is essential in preparing students to higher level of education that is needed by industry.

K to12 is not only a joint program of DepEd, CHED and TESDA, but also of stakeholders such as students, parents, teachers, school administrators, education experts, the legislature and the business sector.

Businesses and industries specifically those in the export sector have been experiencing a recurring problem on mismatch of education and skills they require. This results to re-training of hired personnel which adds to the cost of doing business.

Hence, the implementation of the K to12 programs paved the way to an industry-academe partnership for human resource development in the export industry. The EDC Networking Committee on Human Resource Development has been linking the industry with the education institutions to eliminate the mismatch between graduates and industry demand. Such collaborative effort hopes to enhance human resource competitiveness for export.

Customs issues CMC 30-2012 on Revised List of Prohibited and Regulated Products for Export

April 25, 2012

The Bureau of Customs issued CMC 30-2012 providing the revised list of prohibited and regulated products for export under Executive Order No. 1016.

This means that products in the list must have export clearances before they are allowed to be shipped out. The Revised List was approved by the Inter-Agency Committee on EO 1016 last November 2011. The Committee is composed of officials of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Economic Development Authority.

CMC 30-2012 can be downloaded at http://edc.net.ph

BFAR agrees to review the fisheries export clearance fees

April 25, 2012

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, through the National Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) agreed to review BFAR Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 233-1, s. 2011 imposing export clearance fees. This evolved during the NFARMC meeting last 20 March 2012 attended by representatives of Export Development Council, PHILEXPORT, Home Accents Group of the Phils., Inc. (HAPI) and other aquatic and fisheries export organizations.

EDC aired the concern of the exporters in the imposition of the minimum fee of PHP 1,650.00 for the export commodity clearance regardless of the weight of the products. This will hurt the exporters’ competitiveness esp. those who belong to micro, small, medium scale enterprises who regularly export goods in small quantities and values.

In said meeting, the NFARMC Secretariat proposed an amended schedule of fees which have been agreed upon by the export representatives present, subject for review and approval by NFARMC in its meeting next month.

Automated Export Documentation System under e2m Customs implemented

March 08, 2012

In a meeting of the Export Development Council Networking Committee on Trade Policy and Procedure Simplification (NCTPPS), Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced the pilot run of Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS) under e2m Customs for regular exports only, excluding PEZA at: (1) Port of Manila on March 5-9, 2012 (2) Manila International Container Port on March 12-16, 2012 and (3) Ninoy Aquino International Airport on March 19-23, 2012.

Under the AEDS, exporters and their authorized representatives shall be registered with BOC’s Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) through the accrediting agencies like BOI, PEZA, CDC, SBMA, AFAB, CEZA, ZEZA, BETP and PHILEXPORT.

Payment of the Documentary Stamp Fee (DSF) shall be done thru the auto-debit scheme of PASS5 or through the tellering module via the BOC in-house bank or the designated BOC Cashier especially for payments made beyond office hours.

With the implementation of AEDS, it is expected to significantly facilitate documentation and processing of export shipments towards ensuring on-time delivery of Philippine exports. Exporters are advised to continue registering under the CPRS.

DTI- RODG Kicks - Off Industry Clustering Project

March 08, 2012

The National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP) of the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations and Development Group (DTI-RODG) started its series of workshops in Cebu and Pampanga in February 2012. The workshops’ objective is to strengthen capacities of Industry Cluster (IC) Development Managers and implementation on: (1) Value Chain methodology; (2) success factors and best practices in IC Development Management; (3) strategic development planning for IC development using the Value Chain framework; (4) sharpening IC development initiatives from the experience of visited enterprises; and (5) identifying entry points for multi-stakeholders convergence.

The workshop in Pampanga was attended by stakeholders from the government such as DTI-Regional Offices from CAR, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Pampanga, and Bataan; DENR-Region 2; DOST- National; DA-Region 2; academe and private sector. Value Chains from these regions such as Coffee of Kalinga, Milkfish of Pangasinan, Dairy products of Region 2 and engineered bamboo (eBamboo) of Pampanga were reviewed and validated. Field visits to plants and factories, bamboo nursery and plantation and a common service and training facility for furniture makers were coordinated as a tool and means for knowledge harvest.

Similar workshops and activities are slated this March in Tagaytay and Davao in preparation for the arrival of JICA consultants in April for the final funding approval of the project.

New list of prohibited and regulated products for export released

February 07, 2012

The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Executive Order No.1016 headed by the Department of Trade and Industry recently released the revised list of products that are prohibited and regulated for export.

Revision of the said list was made in response to the growing clamor from exporters for an updated reference of prohibited and regulated products for export to avert confusion and delay in export trade facilitation.

The IAC was created and operates by virtue of EO 1016 which also dispensed all inspection, commodity and export clearance requirements except: (1) those required as a result of the existence of import quotas in other countries, such as garments and sugar; (2) those covering items which are banned for exports; (3) those covering exports of logs, copper and coffee; and (4) those covered by international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory.

Other IAC members are representatives of the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Commodity agencies and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) were provided with copies of the said list. The Complete List of Prohibited and Regulated Products for export is available at http://www.edc.net.ph.

EDC seeks implementation of 24/7 Customs operation in NAIA

February 07, 2012

The Export Development Council (EDC) reiterated the need for 24/7 Customs operations in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international airports. In a letter addressed to Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon, EDC pointed out that the Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 7-2011 which prescribes a three (3) shift-official work schedule and payment of night-shift differential to qualified personnel should be implemented, and included in the Codified Customs Rules and Regulations.

Global Marketing and Intelligence System launched

February 07, 2012

The Trade and Investment Promotions Group (TIPG) of the Department of Trade and industry (DTI) recently launched the Global Marketing and Intelligence System (GMIS). The GMIS is an operating system involving all bureaus/agencies under the TIPG to promote exports and investments in target markets. This system will create synergies and encourage efficiency within DTI in order to better promote Philippine exports and investments.

The GMIS is also intended to be a channel/clearing house for DTI commercial intelligence work. DTI-TIPG Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio says, “This reorganization is all about teamwork. Instead of each agency trying to create shots on their own, we want them to move the ball, look for the best percentage shot, and then take that best shot together as one team.”

Eight (8) Global Marketing and Intelligence Teams (GMITs) will work together toward region-specific goals. These teams are Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, South Asia, ASEAN & ANZ, East Asia, China & SARs and GMIT Philippines. For Philippine exporters, this means that they just need to contact one Team in order to get the complete package of assistance needed to penetrate a specific market.

EDC opposes BOC increase in fees

February 07, 2012

During the Public Consultation on the Draft Codified Customs Rules and Regulations held last 24 to 27 January 2012, the Export Development Council (EDC) raised its concern on the increases in the amount of Administrative Fees, Accountable Forms, and Warehousing Supervision Fees for being untimely as it will increase the cost of doing business of exporters. EDC also cited Presidential Memorandum Circular No. 137 which provides that any imposition of new fees or increases of existing fees requires the authorization/clearance of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

Cong. Apacible Urge Exporters to Seek Support from Congress

January 24, 2012

Cong. Apacible, in his speech during the National Export Congress, urged exporters to seek support from the lower house. He indicated to support the amendment of R.A 7844 or the Export Development Act for a more sustainable and inclusive national growth. He also informed that since Congress has the “Power of Purse”, it can allocate funds through the General Appropriation Act to support export promotion programs and projects

DTI to Exporters: Harmonize Sectoral Export Development Plans with PEDP 2011-2013

January 24, 2012

DTI called on exporters nationwide to harmonize their export plans with the national export development initiatives. This message was brought through a series of seminars on the implementation of Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013 which were conducted in Cebu City (November 29, 2011), Clark, Pampanga (December 2, 2011) and Davao City (December 6, 2011).

The seminars were participated by exporters, government officials, academe members and media practitioners. DTI presented the Philippine International Trade Strategy (ITS) focusing on the PEDP and sought support and commitment of all stakeholders. It was also an opportunity to convey President Aquino’s message of “inclusive growth” i.e. economic uptrend translated to actual benefits that must be felt by every Filipino.

Exporters, on their part, presented their Sectoral Export Performance, Plans and Strategies vis-à-vis the DTI Regional Export Targets in support of the new PEDP 2011-2013. Further, bilateral discussions were made on issues of financing, trade facilitation, private sector representation in international trade negotiations, foreign market trends and competition.

The consolidated Regional Export Performance, Plans and Strategies were presented during the National Export Congress held on December 13, 2011 at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), Pasay City.

The fora were spearheaded by The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) thru the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP), Export Development Council (EDC) and the Regional Operations Development Group (RODG) in cooperation with the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) 2, a development cooperation initiative by and between the Republic of the Philippines (RP) and the Commission of the European Communities (EC).

EXPONET Directory launched

January 24, 2012

The Department of Trade and Industry through the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) launched the Export Assistance Network (EXPONET) Directory during the celebration of the National Exporters Week last 13 December 2011.

The EXPONET Directory contains the list of government offices, trade associations, financial institutions, Local Government Units (LGU’s), Export Facilitation One Stop Export Documentation Centers and other Private Organizations which play important roles in the export operation and development. It is an effective tool of the EXPONET, the frontline servicing unit of BETP for export information and trade facilitation.

EDC, NCMF conducts Halal Accreditation Forum

January 24, 2012

A multi-sectoral forum (Usapang Exports) on Halal Accreditation Guidelines was held last 09 December 2011 as a joint initiative of the Export Development Council (EDC) and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in the observance of the 2011 National Exporters Week.

The said forum is both an information drive of the NCMF on the approved Guidelines. It is also a response to the Presidential Directive which was issued during the Meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang to fast track the Halal Certification in order to boost credibility of the country’s Halal food and non-food exports.

Representatives from the embassies of Muslim dominated countries, concerned government agencies, local manufacturers, Muslim organizations and community leaders participated in the forum.

Happy Holidays

December 24, 2011

May the spirit of Christmas remain always with you through out the coming year!

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

New Ship calls at Batangas Port

December 24, 2011

MCC Transport, a Singapore-based international shipping line, will call (off loading) at the Batangas International Container Port every Saturday for its weekly inbound service from Singapore, before sailing to Manila, then to Kaohsiung and Hong Kong starting December 10, 2011.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) welcomes this development because this will help ease traffic flow in and through Manila ports and shorten transit time from Batangas to PEZA locators in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon (Calabarzon). "It also aims to lower the cost of doing business in the area", said PEZA Director General Lilia B. De Lima in a meeting organized by the Export Development Council (EDC) and National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

This development is in line with the EDC advocacy to increase sea cargo traffic in the southern and northern part of Luzon through the Batangas Port and Subic Port, respectively.

Halal Certification and Accreditation Guidelines passed

December 24, 2011

The Halal Accreditation Guidelines was finally passed and approved en banc by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in November 2011. These Guidelines are underlined in the Halal standards prepared by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (DA-BAFPS) and promulgated last month by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS). These standards are Halal Agriculture and Fisheries Products (PNS-BAFPS 101-2011); Code of Halal Slaughtering Practices for Ruminants (PNS-BAFPS 102-2011); and the Code of Halal Slaughtering Practices for Poultry (PNS-BAFPS 103-2011).

This development is aligned to the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013. One of the PEDP strategies is to promote certification-enabled products e.g. Halal certified products.

The DTI through the Bureau of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development (BMSMED) and the Regional Operations Development Group (RODG), continue to carry on its activities in promoting Halal Certification to manufacturers/ exporters and would-be small and medium manufacturers. Although the Philippines is already producing Halal certified products, the country still lags behind in the number of Halal-certified products manufactured and exported. Tapping a small share of the 1.8 billion Muslim global population & US$600 billion market annual trade can mean a lot to the country’s exporters.

2011 National Exporters’ Week: “Rev up to double up!”

November 14, 2011

The first week of December is declared as National Exporters Week by Presidential Proclamation 931, series of 1996 and House Resolution No. 33. This annual occasion was created in order to obtain total commitment of the government and the private sector to continuously work together to sustain and maintain export development.

For this year’s celebration of the National Exporters Week, the theme is “REV UP TO DOUBLE UP!” which is in line with the core strategies and growth targets of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013. It aims to encourage exporters to rise above the global challenges and boost their performance by moving up the value chain of export products and services. This is also an occasion to promote the programs provided to the export industry thus boosting their performance to double up Philippine exports by 2016.

The major activity of the celebration is the National Export Congress to be held on 13 December 2011 at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC). All stakeholders are invited to attend the event.

Other activities include: Usapang Exports, Buy Pinoy Exporters Fair and other trade export fairs, Doing Business in the Free Trade Areas (DBFTA’s), academic activities and nationwide DTI-RODG activities.

For inquiries, please reply to this e-mail or call the Export Development Council (EDC) at (02) 890-4645, (02) 897-7608, or at +63 917 599 1084.

DILG Prohibits “Pass through Fees” for Use of Local Roads

November 14, 2011

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) prohibits the collection of pass through fees and other illegal collection for the use of local roads.

On 12 October 2011, Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo issued a memorandum circular enjoining all local chief executives to refrain from enforcing any existing ordinance authorizing the levy of fees and taxes on inter-province transport of goods, regulatory fees from passengers in local ports, and other additional taxes, fees or charges in any form upon transporting goods and passengers. This circular also instructed LGU’s to immediately repeal any provincial, city and municipal ordinances imposing such fees and taxes.

This DILG issuance came following instruction from President Benigno S. Aquino III to ensure that LGUs are not imposing and collecting pass through fees and other illegal collection for the use of local roads.

The Export Development Council (EDC) welcomes this development as it wIll make Philippine exports more competitive with lower transport costs.

Construction Industry Details Education & HRD Needs from the Government

November 14, 2011

The Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) recently presented the education roadmap of the construction industry to the joint Committee on Education and Human Resource Development of the Export Development Council and the National Competitiveness Council.

The PCA cited the importance of enhancing the educational programs and skills standards to produce world-class, highly competitive construction professionals and workers.

PCA specifically asked the government to offer financial assistance for education, pursue the laderrized program for engineering, improve the elementary and high school curriculums and revise the engineering curriculum to concur with the Washington Accord. PCA also advocates the strengthening of industry-academe linkages through the OJT program, prioritizing Engineering Centers of Excellence to serve as pilot schools and the updating of training regulations developed by TESDA.

In response, CHED allocated P50 million budget for the country’s concurrence to the Washington Accord and infrastructure facilities for the Engineering Centers of Excellence. Also, CHED has an on-going laderrized program for engineering. Meanwhile, DepEd is reviewing the curriculum transition and acceleration and preparing for additional teachers and classrooms to accommodate the additional years in high school. TESDA has expanded its training programs to benefit “near hires” from the IT-BPO industry with a budget of P500 million.

DTI Consults GenSan Exporters on PJEPA Review

October 11, 2011

The Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) is being reviewed through the One Country, One Voice (OCOV), a nationwide program of DTI. The latest OCOV session was held last September 8, 2011 in General Santos City where exporters raised their concerns in the PJEPA and its implementation, rules and procedures.

Some of the issues put forward are: dwindling markets for fresh vegetables and other produce, inclusion and exclusion lists, reduction of tariff of canned tuna, difficulty in gaining tariff rates and quota (TRQ) due to implementation differences of BOC and Japan customs, among others.

The Philippine panel of PJEPA will try to address the concerns raised during the consultation. These issues will be included in the report when Philippines and Japan will meet before the year ends to present the results of the review of the Agreement. The said review will determine if there are critical issues from both countries that need to be brought to the negotiating table.

Travel Tax Exemptions for Overseas Trade Fairs Remain High

October 11, 2011

Trade fairs held abroad take the lead for this year’s travel tax exemption. A total of 705 out of 724 exemptions issued were given for the purpose of attending trade fairs in Hongkong, Germany, France, China, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Dubai, Taiwan, Netherlands, Italy, and Korea.

The Export Development Council continues to issue travel tax exemption to all exporters joining trade fair, selling missions, international conferences and seminars on trade.

Exporters are encouraged to avail of this in order to aggressively promote their products and services in international market. Applications must be filed at least two (2) working days before the expected date of travel thru BETP, BITR, CITEM, PHILEXPORT or the nearest provincial office of the DTI.

For inquiries please contact the EDC secretariat at telephone no. 897-7608 or telefax 890-4645.

Customs Overtime Charges Eliminated

September 13, 2011

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 7-2011, prescribing the official work hours for certain divisions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international airports of entry with the objective of ensuring that adequate personnel are assigned to render 24/7 services.

This issuance resolves the long time practice of BOC personnel overtime charges being shouldered by the private sector. The Export Development Council (EDC) expresses appreciation to BOC Commissioner Alvarez and DOF Secretary Purisima for this issuance since the EDC Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics have been advocating the government's enabling role to match the 24/7 operations of the private sector, especially on CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) services.

The Board of Airlines Representatives (BAR) commended the EDC for its aggressive advocacy that paved the way for the issuance of CAO 7-2011. EDC will continue to work with the Bureau of Immigration and Quarantine offices on their 24/7 operation.

PH-China RO-RO Linkage in the Presidents Agenda to China

September 13, 2011

The proposal to develop a nautical highway system or Roll-on, Roll-Off (RO-RO) between the Philippines and China is included in the agenda of the President's state visit to China. DOTC Secretary Roxas reported that the two states will be signing an understanding to physically explore the setting up of this South China Sea Ro-Ro. The Secretary targets Subic and Poro point, referring to the existing Subic free port and another facility in La Union

The Export Development Council (EDC) fully supports this initiative that the President started in his last meeting with ASEAN leaders and China. This is a strategic step in order to sustain the increasing trade between the Philippines and China.

NO TOUCH POLICY Implemented at NAIA Terminals

September 13, 2011

The "No Touch Policy" is now being implemented at all NAIA Terminals following reports of harassment and extortion practices by some airport personnel towards Japanese and other Asian tourists including overseas Filipinos.

Said illegal activities became the subject of priority action plan and security meeting after the EDC requested MIAA General Manager, PNP Aviation Security Group and the Bureau of Immigration to look into the matter as it affects the image of the country as a destination of choice for trade and tourism. Several measures were undertaken to include the said policy, stemming from the Travel Advisory released by Japan Embassy in Manila.

The MIAA management and the PNP has advised the public to report immediately to the Airport Police at telephone no. 877-1109 loc. 3769, any incident or malpractice encountered at the airport for immediate actions.

President Aquino Approves PEDP 2011-2013

August 11, 2011

From left: Usec. Segfredo Serrano, DA; Sec. Proceso Alcala, DA; Mr. Serafin Juliano, PEDP Consultant; Sec. Rosalinda Baldos, DOLE; Mr. Gillian Joyce Virata,BPAP; Sec. Cesar Purisima, DOF; Mr. Roberto Amores, President of PHILFOODEX (center) President Benigno Aquino III; Sec. Gregory Domingo, DTI; Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, President of PHILEXPORT; Mr. Apolinar Suarez, Visayas Representative; Usec. Adrian Cristobal Jr., DTI; Mr. Ernesto Santiago, President of SEIPI; and DDGen. Margarita Songco, NEDA.

The Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013 was approved with some enhancements by President Benigno S. Aquino, III in his meeting with the Export Development Council (EDC) last 11 July 2011 in Malacañan.

The PEDP targets US$89 billion export revenue for 2013 from the average exports of US $58 billion in 2008-2010. The PEDP goes beyond the usual three year plan and targets doubling exports to $120 billion by 2016.

To achieve these targets, the Plan adopts core product, market and promotion strategies. The product strategies involve moving up the value chain, capturing higher value processes in the global supply chain, and developing product linkages for organic, natural and certification-enabled products.

The market strategies include maximizing benefits of free trade agreements, targeting high-growth emerging markets, and attracting international firms to move their supply chain nodes to the Philippines.

The key export promotion strategy is integrating tourism, services and merchandise trade not only to maximize returns on promotional spending but also to achieve market share growth and the capacity to sustain it. Furthermore, export promotions shall focus on precision (quality) rather than profusion (quantity).

President Aquino Allocates Funds for Export Promotion

August 11, 2011

The President has given the directive for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allot P100 million for export promotion. This was specified in a memorandum by Sec. Julia A. R. Abad, of the Presidential Management Staff to Sec. Florencio B. Abad, of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The amount was proposed by the Export Development Council during its meeting with the President on 11 July 2011 in Malacanan, for the implementation of the newly approved Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013.

The PEDP spells out the strategies to develop and promote exports for the next three years in order to create more jobs for the Filipinos.

EDC, NCC Collaborate for HR Development for Competitiveness

August 11, 2011

The Export Development Council’s Networking Committee on Human Resource Development (EDC NC-HRD) and the National Competitiveness Council’s Education and Human Resource Development Working Group (NCC-Edu/HRD WG) recently joined forces for a more efficient and effective education and human resource development to enhance the competitiveness of the country.

The move strengthens the link between the industry and the education sector to match the skills and knowledge of the workforce with the needs of the businesses. It will also enhance competitiveness by reshaping the education system to emphasize academic, technical-vocational and entrepreneurial aptitude to create a versatile workforce for the industry and to ensure the continuous advancement of relevant knowledge and skills through a permanent industry-education cooperation.

Customs NO OBJECTIONS to the Proposed Amnesty Bill

July 05, 2011

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) offers "No Objections" to the proposed Customs Amnesty Bill of the Export Development Council (EDC). According to BOC Commissioner Angelito A. Alvarez, this proposal also affords the Bureau of Customs the opportunity to augment its national revenue collections as provided in the proposed bill.

The objective of this proposed legislative advocacy is to grant amnesty to exporters whose imports under the bonded warehousing system remains unliquidated for years due to lack of documentary requirement/s and yet remains unprosecuted.

BSP Awards EDC for Outstanding Information Support

July 05, 2011

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has chosen the Export Development Council (EDC) as one of this year’s BSP Stakeholders Awardees for Outstanding Information Support – Source of Information for Balance of Payments projection (Public Sector).

Last year, BSP conferred EDC the Special Recognition Award for the same category.