PH pushes duty-free privilege for Yolanda goods

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 30 2014 07:38 AM | Updated as of Dec 30 2014 03:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will actively push for a proposal seeking for the duty-free entry of goods produced in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda to the US in the first quarter of next year, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

“We’ll see in the first quarter of next year. We’ll make a push for it,” Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters.

He said the Philippine government will have to wait until early 2015 to press for the draft bill which will give duty-free access of goods produced in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda to the US.

Domingo said the government already has a draft bill, but will still need to find a sponsor for the proposal.

The proposal is being pursued to help spur economic activity in the typhoon-affected areas.

Domingo said there are opportunities for firms engaged in the manufacture of garments, handicraft and food products in the typhoon-affected areas.

Earlier, the government was pushing for the Save Our Industries Act (SAVE) which seeks to give duty-free entry for Philippine-made apparel using American fabrics to the US.

The SAVE Act first filed in Washington in 2009, is considered the key to save the local garments sector amid the decline in export sales and jobs after the World Trade Organization’s elimination of quota on shipments in 2005.

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