On December 15, 2021, senators approved on third reading the Senate Bill No. 2094; garnering votes of 18-3-0 in favor of amending the Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Act of 1936. The country was long held back by its underinvested public service infrastructure which in turn prohibited healthy market competition and resulted in high service costs that burden both direct consumers and exporters in general.
The Export Development Council-Networking Committee on Legislative Advocacy and Monitoring (EDC-NCLAM) advocated for the liberalization of telecommunications and common carriers in the previous version of the bill. Hence, this development in liberalizing our economy is greatly supported by the EDC. These amendments will reduce the cost of inter-island shipping by paving the way for competition in the shipping industry.
Continue reading Liberalization of public service: An amendment to the 85-year-old Public Service Act
The consolidated Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) House Bill 6815, also known as the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE Philippines Act), seeks to ensure business continuity and aid the recovery of critically-impacted businesses brought about by the afflicting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surveys conducted on exporters by the DTI-Exporters’ Marketing Bureau and Philippine Exporters’ Confederation Inc. (Philexport) have manifested results that while numerous micro, small, and medium exporters are struggling from monetary losses, respondents also recommend that the Government should provide financial assistance through Stimulus Packages.
PESA Bill interventions allow critically-impacted formal and informal MSME exporters, including start-ups, freelancers, and the self-employed, to incur wage subsidies for two months with labor retention clause, interest free-loans, credit mediation, e-wallets, subsidies for education, grants for technical assistance, and structural reforms for economic resilience.
The P1.3-trillion economic stimulus package was introduced by Hon. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, and co-authored by 256 legislators in the Congress. With the support of the Export Development Council, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Philexport, the Bill was successfully passed in its final reading at the House of Representatives. –KJCS
The Export Development Council (EDC) through its Networking Committee on Legislative Advocacy and Monitoring (NCLAM) has prioritized the export sector’s legislative agenda for the 18thCongress to have a more competitive export industry.
EDC supports the amendment of the Public Service Act (PSA) to have a clear statutory definition of public utilities and public services. Also, the measure aims to provide greater competition and investment and lower costs to support the flow of goods and services.
On transport and logistics, some of the recommendations include the Amendment of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Charter in order to separate the regulatory and operator functions of both agencies.
On trade financing, EDC advocates the amendments to Republic Act 9501 (Magna Carta for MSMEs) to provide an extension of the mandatory allocation of credit resources to set aside 10 percent of their loan portfolio for lending to MSMEs. The amendments will also strengthen the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), both in terms of capitalization and exemption from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ supervisory powers.
There is also a proposal for the amendment of Republic Act 8172 (ASIN Law). EDC acknowledges that there is a need to clarify an exemption in all salt incorporated in export food products.
The EDC- NCLAM as mandated in the Export Development Act aims to assist in the effective implementation of the Act through advocacy of necessary legislative actions that shall promote Philippine exports. The Committee is composed of members from both the relevant public and private sector. –MDGTD