A party-list legislator on Wednesday pushed for the enactment of House Bill 5548 that proposes to amend the Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariffication Act.
Since the enactment of the CMTA, a landmark legislation, the Philippines has made great strides in the United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, rising through the ranks of 128 economies.
From 69.89 percent in 2017, the Philippines’ trade facilitation rate reached 80.65 percent in 2019, AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin.
Garin, principal author of the billl, said “international trade facilitation is crucial to the country’s economic growth and that amendments are necessary to further improve the country’s international standing.”
“It is to be noted that since 2017, the country’s institutional arrangement and cooperation rating plateaued at 55.56 percent from 2017 to 2019. Should the bill be passed into law, the country’s rating is expected to progress,” Garin said.
Garin in her bill seeks to improve trade facilitation and assist the government in revenue collection.
“Provisions proposing the simplification and clear definition of some processes in the customs clearance of imported goods are incorporated in the bill. In addition to this, stricter administrative sanctions, specifically on the supervision and regulation of third parties, are also being proposed to curb corruption and improve the efficiency of the Bureau,” Garin said.
House Bill 5548 is in line with the administration’s continuing efforts to boost the country’s trade activity and adapt global practices.
As the chairman of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, Garin said she hopes to improve the country’s ranking in the Top 25 developing-economy exporters, where the Philippines ranks 15th in the 2018 World Investment Report
A technical working group under the Committee on Ways and Means has been created to discuss the proposed amendments to the law.