CEBU

Export group submits ‘New Normal’ roadmap

A TOP official of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) is calling on the government to implement, in consultation with the private sector, a range of legislative and executive actions towards recovery, resilience and resurgence (3Rs) to drive the country’s efficient transition from the Covid-19 crisis to the “new normal.”

Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. on Monday, May 11, 2020, unveiled the New Normal Roadmap, a set of proposed measures developed by Philexport to help Covid-19 devastated businesses, especially exporters and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), get back on their feet, restart and sustain their operations and create jobs.

A copy of the roadmap crafted with inputs from the organization’s local chapters nationwide and affiliated industry associations was sent to the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases through Trade Secretary and Export Development Council Chairman Ramon Lopez.

The roadmap recommends immediate as well as medium- and long-term legislative and executive measures anchored on the 3Rs. The three pillars of recovery, resilience and resurgence are seen as the way forward in the economic reboot of the country as it adjusts to a new way of life.

3Rs

Ortiz-Luis, Jr. said that the recovery phase requires “the immediate implementation of programs and policies that can help enterprises to re-open gradually from this crisis until reaching their full capacity.”

Measures under the resilience phase call for “the continuing implementation of programs and policies that will help enterprises withstand disasters and shocks (including a possible second wave of this crisis) and keep the enterprise operational even at 25 percent capacity until they reach full capacity.”

The resurgence phase, meanwhile, can be achieved in the medium- to long-term by “continuing the implementation of programs and policies that will help enterprises achieve at least five percent enterprise and industry growth targets consistently for as long as possible.

Proposal

To assist businesses, particularly the floundering MSME and export sectors, the roadmap proposes the immediate rollout of measures including:

  • the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (with amendments from the private sector) to help fund assistance programs;
  • epidemic control through Covid-19 testing, isolation of confirmed cases and setting up of barangay quarantine centers;
  • interest-free, MSME-friendly multi-purpose loans with minimum requirements;
  • fuel subsidy for public utility vehicles hurt by decreased carrying capacity;
  • resumption of sea and air travel for cargoes, business and trade with bailout or financial assistance to affected transport sectors;
  • wage subsidies for the months covering the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and one month after lifting the ECQ in concerned areas;
  • moratorium on utility and rental payments, with staggered payment of accumulated bills;
  • subsidy for export promotion and domestic marketing for at least one year; and
  • harmonization and transparency in local government unit policies to facilitate smooth flow of goods and people processing these goods.


Other proposed measures with economic, export and MSME impacts from the Recovery up to Resurgence phases include:
  • passage of the following bills:


a. Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act with reduced corporate income tax immediately to 20 percent and removal of the export threshold to enable more exporters to avail of incentives;

b. Open Access in Data Transmission Act to help address broadband and connectivity issues;

c. Magna Carta for MSMEs as amended to empower SB Corp. to lend more to MSMEs and facilitate other sources of funds;

d. Customs Amnesty Act as possible revenue source from where Covid-19 assistance programs may come from;

e. Balik Probinsya or Executive Order 114 to help decongest Metro Manila;

f. re-purpose facilities and factories toward mass producing Covid-19 essential products to help lower the cost of these items;

g. full computerization of government agencies (including TradeNet) to lower cost of doing business and promote service continuity; and

h. implementation of the National ID System to facilitate social protection programs. (PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)

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