Author Archives: edcinforms

Government lending arm to set aside P1.5 billion fund for MSMEs affected by COVID- 19 

Due to the continuing rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the scarcity of medical devices and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its lending arm- the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) felt the need to augment the critical supply gap and significantly reduce the risks and serious threat posed by COVID-19 to the health and safety of the Filipino people, particularly the medical frontliners. With these in mind, DTI and SBCorp recognized the importance of providing immediate funding assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are manufacturing COVID-19 specific medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPEs).

As such, in order to provide the much needed funding assistance, the DTI and SBCorp requested the Office of the President in line with the special power granted to it under RA No.11469 the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” to:
1.) Reallocate P500 Million from the P1.5 Billion P3 fund under the FY2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to provide funding assistance to SMEs manufacturing COVID-19 specific medical devices and ppes; and
2.) Provide for a maximum loan size of P30 Million to the said SMEs on the condition that loans exceeding P5 Million will require third party evaluation from a government financial institution such as the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) or the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Meanwhile, SBCorp will continue with its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program, the country’s flagship program for providing economic and employment opportunities to micro  enterprises through the encouragement of entrepreneurship. DTI through SBCorp has been implementing the P3 program since 2017 through a fund downloaded by the National government to SBCorp via the GAA. The P3 program provides micro enterprises that do not have the access to formal credit and with asset size not exceeding Php 3 Million. The program can be easily accessed by micro enterprises at reasonable cost (0.5% interest) with a grace period of 6-months (and can be extended) and minimal requirements- Barangay Certificate and Barangay Clearance. In addition, the program is expected to lure micro enterprises away from usurious loans provided by loan sharks and other informal money lenders.

Another P500 Million was set aside as Enterprise Rehabilitation Fund (ERF) for micro entrepreneurs once the ECQ is lifted with loans up to P200,000. A month-long pilot run in May will be done in Luzon with a nation-wide roll-out aimed by June. In summary, a total of P1.5 Billion for MSMEs were set aside by the DTI. These were all discussed in detail by Ms. Luna Cacanando, SBCorp President, during the second eForum series on #ResilienceAndRecoveryPH conducted via zoom on Wednesdays, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm by the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc (PHILEXPORT) in collaboration with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines e(ECOP) and the Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation (PDRF).
For more details on the DTI-SBCorp funding programs, you may call their hotline at 1-800-10-651- 3333 (8am-5pm) or visit Sbcorp Dti facebook page.- GTM

Customs implements globally accredited ‘AEO Program’ thru CMO 9-2020

In response for the country’s commitment to the World Customs Organization SAFE framework, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued CMO 9-2020 “Implementing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program Established Under CAO 5-2017 for Importers and Exporters” last 16 March 2020. Said memorandum revokes, amends, or modifies CMO 11-2012 and CMO 14-2013 to further beef up the AEO program.

Approval of the stakeholders’ application is based upon obtaining the criteria, followed by the submission of necessary documents in the AEO portal which will soon be accessible at the BOC website.

Moreover, an AEO office is to be established to fully implement and monitor the components of its mandate: Cargo Security System, Trade Clearance Facility, and Mutual Recognition Arrangement.

An AEO member, can be accredited into three (3) levels, to be entitled of privileges, benefits, and exemptions depending on the level applied for.

Implementation of this internationally recognized accreditation, the AEO program, heightened the importers/exporters standards in the global market. -MRJ 

EU as a Post-COVID Market: REX Registration on Due 

Exporters are enjoined to register in the Registered Exporters ‘REX’ system to enjoy preferential tariffs from the European Union. Acceptance of application to REX was extended only until 30 June 2020.

The EU REX is a self-certification of origin system that replaces the Certificate of Origin (CO) Form A. The said form will no longer be accepted under the EU Generalized System of Preferences (EU-GSP) as a basis for country of origin.

Accordingly, exporters may proceed their application by filling out electronically thru  https://customs.ec.europa.eu/rex-pa-ui/#/create-preapplication/. Further guidelines for registering are stated under the CMO 50-2019.  Accomplished applications duly recognized by the competent authorities (Export Division/Unit) shall be assigned with a REX number within seven (7) working days.

Compliance with the REX system will avail the benefits under the EU GSP program, for which the Philippines was granted under EU GSP+, that allows exporting over 6,000 categories of goods duty-free to the EU nations.

Hence, this opportunity will help the exporters’ market capability to grow and robust their trade relation towards the EU market, a potential avenue to increase export revenue and diversify export goods, that would assist in mitigating trade losses due to the COVID-19 crisis. –MRJ

Transport & Logistics Stakeholders air recommendations to facilitate flows of goods amidst COVID-19

The issues and challenges faced by the transport and logistics sector were discussed last 15 April 2020, during the 3rd eForum of #ResilenceAndRecoveryPH with the topic “Local and Global Supply Chains: Quick Assessment and Ways Forward”.

During the forum, the transport and logistics sector with importers, supply chain associations, port users and exporters, have expressed their disdain over the increasing shipping cost including demurrage fees –locally and globally. The burden of paying higher fees and demurrage was passed on to their shoulders at the most inconvenient of times when there are airfreight cancellations, more return shipments, port congestion/container build-up at ports, blank sailings at short notice, and so on- all without their fault, but as an impact of the dreaded COVID-19 disease.

The group sought the help of government and private sectors for solutions to address and ease their current burden. They urged government, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in particular, to refrain from passing the burden of paying higher fees and charges to port users. More importantly, they asked government to consider long-term and short-term solutions in order to improve the flow of goods in the country and make the cost of transport and logistics more competitive, domestically and globally. Following are the recommendations:

Short-term solutions:
1. Implement the Super Green Lane (SGL) for PEZA shipments and transactions;
2. Suspend demurrage charges for shipments stuck at the port and apply this retroactively to all shipments affected;
3. Extend the free storage period from 5 days to 10 days;
4. Lift the truck ban/ number coding;
5. Promulgate guidelines and ensure that all shipping lines have sufficient Container Yard (CY) space for empty containers as well as expedite the accreditation and activation of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) as needed.

Long-term solutions:
1. Creation of a single Customs Revenue District for ports serving the Greater Manila Area or mandate a single port of discharge to vessels
2. improve online processing of permits/customs clearance/payments
3. Full implementation of the National Single Window;
4. Improve internet speed and connectivity
5.Establishment of a Supply Chain and Logistics Council composed of public and private sector.

In response to the groups plea for help, a statement urging the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to address Ports Issues under COVID-19 and Endorsing the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) on  establishing guidelines in the application of local charges imposed by international shipping lines, freight forwarders or logistics companies, customs brokers, cargo truck operators, terminal operators and container yard operators to comply with existing laws and instructing the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to improve productivity in the handling of cargoes, was issued.-GTM

NEDA’s Supply Chain Plan Gets a GO from IATF

The National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) plan gets a GO, pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 24 dated 15 April 2020 – acquiring the approval to develop a Supply Chain Analytics (SCAn) dashboard, and to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).

The main objective of the SCAn dashboard is to provide up-to-date, real-time information to the IATF on existing supply chain and logistics issues, and potential solutions to aid them in making relevant and timely actions and decisions. Information in the SCAn dashboard will be generated from different subnational stakeholders through a Networks Hub.

The Networks Hub is consisted of, but not limited to Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP), Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT), and Export Development Council’s Networking Committee on Transport and logistics (EDC-NCTL), including other government/regulatory agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

The RIA on the other hand, will be implemented alongside with ARTA. They will tackle COVID 19 related issuances that have implications to the flow of supply chain to ensure those that can be a burden or threat to the efficient flow of goods will be taken out.

In light of the COVID 19 pandemic that our country is facing, it is crucial to ensure the unhampered, unimpeded flow of goods to secure our supply chain, and to keep the economy going. This collaborative undertaking will be beneficial to preserving the unimpaired flow of goods, and up to the largest extent, mitigate the challenges brought by the COVID 19 to the supply chain.

This initiative is made possible in partnership with the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation Inc. – Regulatory Support Program for National Development (UPPAF-RESPOND), under the headship of Dr. Enrico Basilio, RESPOND Chief of Party, and EDC-NCTL Chair. – KJDA

Quality Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) to enhance the Philippine trade environment

A forum on “Moving Towards Quality Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) was conducted to advance the goal of quality NTMs in the country, its relevance, and issues stemming from it. It aims to provide updates on measures taken by the government arising from the results of the business survey on NTMs conducted by the International Trade Center (ITC) in 2016, collaborate with key private sector stakeholders on moving towards quality NTMs noting current industry accounts on trade facilitation. In addition, it also aims to foster knowledge and experience sharing among different government agencies that carry out NTMs and its formulation and implementation. Finally, to review the current governance and set gears for an inter-agency collaboration on NTMs.

Export Marketing Bureau’s Assistant Director Agnes Legaspi provided the updates on International Trade Center’s 2016 Philippine NTM Survey. According to her, the report showed that NTMs relating to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures or technical barriers to trade (TBT) issues are the most in number, followed by the rules of origin and customs clearances. The others are burdensome technical measures faced by Filipino exporters such as fumigation requirements, labeling requirements, product certification, and other export requirements. Dr. Thomas G. Aquino’s point of view supports the aforementioned issues, stating that prevalent challenges such as changes in trade practices add up to the difficulties in compliance of the industries to existing legitimate NTMs, thus causing hurdles to businesses. In addition, other issues on NTMs, specifically for chemicals are deemed to be disguised as TBTs.

In order to address the aforementioned issues, and the goal of having quality NTMs for the country, government agencies are carrying out their respective NTM procedures and processes to ease the burden of the exporters as:
a) Tariff Commission (TC) recommended that their agency can collaborate with the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. (UPPAF) Regulatory Reform Support Program for National  Development (RESPOND) to improve transparency, accessibility, cooperation, and technical training on quality NTMs through issuance of reports on findings and recommendations for prioritized reforms, and constructing a national registry on NTMs. They also plan on strengthening the role of TC in NTMs policy making by institutionalizing it.

b) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) will strengthen their role as the country’s National Enquiry Point (NEP) and National Notification Authority (NNA) for World Trade Organization – Technical Barriers to Trade(WTO-TBT). As NEP, their role includes collating TBT Notifications to be routed to relevant stakeholders, and as NNA, to notify the WTO on the technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures from the different government agencies.

c) Department of Health – Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) will be implementing their License to Operate (LTO) and Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) in a much shorter time (20 days) as prescribed by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act.

This forum was organized by the UPPAF in collaboration with Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. PHILEXPORT), Tariff Commission (TC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Export Development Council (EDC). –KJDA

BOC addresses ECQ accreditation order thru OCOM memo no. 62-2020 

On March 17, further operational guidelines under the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) concerning the implementation of the  “Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)”, ordered that “All government agencies in the Executive Branch are hereby directed to issue accreditation orders to identify their respective skeletal workforces for critical services operating during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon…”

Following the aforesaid mandate, and in aid to process new and pending Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) transactions, the Office of the Commissioner (OCOM) issued Memorandum No. 62-2020 “Guidelines for the Issuance of Accreditation Pass to BOC Stakeholders” which covers the application and issuance of accreditation pass to BOC Stakeholders, under Sec.1 including 1) BOC accredited importers; 2) Licensed Customs Brokers; 3) Declarants; or 4) Any of their authorized representatives,   that would authorized them to access BOC premises and may also be presented at any established checkpoints during the ECQ implementation.

Despite of the ECQ countereffects in trade, this memorandum will help the immediate release of shipments to lessen port congestion and other trade facilitation issues affected from this directive. – MRJ 

DA assigns regular personnel in OSEDC

The Department of Agriculture (DA) issued Special Order No. 189, s. 2020, assigning regular personnel of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) at the One Stop Export Documentation Center (OSEDC) in Pasay City. Job Order (JO) personnel will also be retained to ensure continuity of service in BFAR-OSEDC.During the Export Development Council (EDC) meeting last 06 February 2020, BFAR informed that the pullout of its JO personnel assigned at the OSEDC is postponed until June 2020. However, the Council argued that the presence of regular BFAR personnel in OSEDC is important to ensure timely issuance of export commodity clearances (ECCs). Data shows that 300 to 400 ECCs are issued every day to exporters of fish and fishery products including shell crafts and ornamental shells. DA Secretary William Dar concurred and instructed BFAR to immediately prepare a Special Order assigning regular personnel and retaining JO personnel in OSEDC.

OSEDC was established through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), PHILEXPORT and other government agencies involved in export including BFAR. The OSEDC promotes ease of doing business by bringing together under one roof different government agencies involved in export processing. –MDGTD

Electronics and Services exports forecast bullish performance in 2020

 

“The services export is continuously growing, thus, total exports are projected to increase in single digit percentage.” Export Development Council (EDC) Executive Director Senen M. Perlada reported during the EDC Meeting last 06 February 2020.

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) reported that Electronics exports reached US$ 43.32 billion in 2019 accounting for 61.60% of the country’s total commodity exports of the year, or a 4.06%, exceeding the industry’s full-year growth target of 0-3% and reaching a new record. Also, the Electronics industry forecasts to grow by 5% this CY 2020.

Electronic products remained leading among the identified key exports of the Philippines under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 along with Processed Food and Beverage, Tourism, and information services such as the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM)- PKC

DTI and DA forges strong partnership to increase export of agribased products

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Agriculture (DA) show strong support to boost export of agribased products with high global demand. Secretary William Dar of the DA during the Export Development Council (EDC) meeting acknowledged that partnership between DA and DTI is significant in order to supply the demand of export market and to develop other potential crops for export.

EDC Executive Driector Senen Perlada reported that DTI- Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) has identified four (4) agribased products that have high global demand namely calamansi, ube, pili and mango. He suggested to Secretary Dar that the propagation of these products be included in the DA’s programs. Mr. Ferdie Marañon, EDC representative from Mindanao also raised during the said meeting that there is a recurring problem with the production of cardava (saba) in their region citing that small farmers of cavendish have limited knowledge in growing this variety of banana.

In response, Secretary Dar emphasized that the DA is assisting small farmers by their provision of seedlings and conduct of trainings in growing and production of “saba”. He added that Php50Million was earmarked for the seedlings. Moreover, Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) is available to finance projects and activities that will help enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture sector. This fund is specifically designed for MSMEs for their capital outlay expenditure and other similar expenses. – PKC