(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 26, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – The public-private Export Development Council (EDC) wants the release of certificates of origin (CO) to be transferred from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for better facilitation.
EDC deputy executive director Emmarita Mijares said the transfer is allowed under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) as the law indicates that “the certificate of origin can be transferred to another agency.”
Mijares said the EDC is now working on having the COs issued not by the BOC but by the DTI or the PEZA.
“Right now what is being studied is having the function of COs releases moved to PEZA and DTI,” she said.
Mijares said globally it is only the Philippines and Singapore which still issue the COs through the customs agency.
In other countries, she said, COs “are given by their trade and industry agencies or the chambers of commerce.”
By successfully including a provision in the CMTA allowing for the transfer of the function, Mijares said there is now a legal basis for pursuing such an initiative.
However, she said the transfer may not happen in the coming year yet because of the many details that still need to be resolved.
“Actually 2017 is too early. But at least the work on it has started and there is a legal basis for it. We fought hard for the legal basis and that is the more important thing,” Mijares said.
The EDC is a public-private partnership created by the government to develop and oversee the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) and coordinate the formulation and implementation of policy reforms to support the plan.
Under the PEDP 2015-2017, Mijares said the focus would be on diversifying markets and products, and identifying and developing export capabilities in products where global demand is growing.
She said the plan is also to address bottlenecks that undermine the competitiveness of exporters, and boost the potential of goods and services where the Philippines can be competitive.
EDC expects there will be more outbound business missions abroad next year, tapping new markets such as Russia and Iran.