Gov’t needs to support export: group

MANILA (PNA) — The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) emphasized the need for government support, particularly in terms of funding, to help the export industry meet its goals under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis told reporters that the industry still waits for less than Php2-billion budget for export development. It was earlier reported that Malacañang Palace has endorsed the funding to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in January.

The budget will support exporters especially in participating trade fairs abroad in order to attract and get more buyers of Philippine products as well as product development, among others.

Ortiz-Luis said the funding for export development will not be given directly to exporters but may be through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“If it will be approved, it will be coursed through DTI not to exporters,” he said.

He cited that the Philippines has missed to join a furniture trade show in Milan, Italy in October 2014 due to lack of DTI budget to support the kind of promotion.

Moreover, the industry has yet to receive any update on the Palace-endorsed fund that will support the goals in the PEDP 2014-2016; hence the losing hope of the exporters to get the said government fund support.

“I’m beginning to see that it’s not going to come out on a timely basis, because the plan is going to end 2014-2016,” the Philexport chief said.

But, he added that even the PEDP will expire next year, the government funding support will boost the country’s export industry which is currently lagging behind other ASEAN neighbors.

Figures from ASEAN Secretariat showed that the Philippines only ranked sixth among 10 ASEAN member countries in terms of merchandise exports revenue in 2013.

Philippine exports of goods revenue in 2013 was at US$ 54 billion compared to Singapore’s US$ 410 billion exports receipt; Thailand’s US$ 229 billion; Malaysia’s US$ 228 billion; Indonesia’s US$ 183 billion; and Vietnam who had surpassed the country with exports revenue of US$ 133 billion.

Ortiz-Luis noted that despite Philippines’ export revenue growing at 9.0 percent last year, its amount is still far behind compared to other ASEAN countries.

Meanwhile, the PEDP eyes US$ 100-billion exports revenue in goods and services by end-2016.

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