Pass laws to boost PH exports, Congress urged
MANILA -The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) is pushing Congress to pass several economic and trade-related bills amid the industry’s weaker-than-expected performance this year and the looming certainty that it will miss export targets for 2023.
Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that there are much needed amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, citing in particular the provisions on the value-added tax (VAT) zero rating given as incentives to government-registered firms.
The Philexport official said that they expect the Senate to also revive the VAT zero rating on local purchases by local suppliers accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as it had been by lawmakers at the House of Representatives.
Likewise, he said that they are also optimistic about seeing some game-changing results with the approval of amendments in the Magna Carta for micro, small and medium enterprises, citing that it facilitates development funds from the Small Business Corp. to fund the projects of these businesses.
“There are regulatory mandates we need to sort out with a couple of agencies so that the National Quality Infrastructure law based on international standards can be passed,” he added.
Urgent and critical bills
The bills cited as urgent and critical by the Philexport include the bill seeking amendments in the charter of the Philippine Ports Authority to decouple its regulatory and development functions and lessen the cost of shipping goods, the Open Access in Data Transmission Act to liberalize internet access, and the Customs Amnesty Act, both as a revenue generating and business-friendly measure.
The Philexport official’s statement came on the heels of the organization’s projection that the private-public sector export target of $126.8 billion for 2023 will likely not be reached, basing this determination on the industry’s year-to-date performance and on the global economic headwinds which are holding back the sector.
Back in October, Ortiz-Luis told the Inquirer that the export target this year will likely not be met, estimating that the country’s export performance could fall “very far off” the mark.
He cited lingering supply chain problems and disruption from the pandemic, impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as the potential downside risks from the situation in Israel.