The Bureau of Customs and Department of Finance jointly organized the 2nd Meeting of the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC) Technical Working Groups and PTFC Roadmap Writeshop on March 15 to 17, 2022 at the Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila.
The 3-day hybrid session was attended by government officials and private sector representatives from the PTFC Compliance Monitoring Technical Working Group, PTFC Trade Policy Review Technical Working Group, and the PTFC Ad-Hoc Technical Working Group. Members from the World Bank Group were also represented in sharing the international best practices and experiences of other countries in refining the draft PTFC Roadmap.
During his opening remarks, Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero highlighted the importance of finalizing the PTFC Roadmap in conveying a clear service framework by Customs and the Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) in providing encompassing support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the trading community in general. He encouraged the MSME representatives and involved government agencies to actively participate in the strategic activities of the PTFC Roadmap with the intent of a whole-of-government approach in providing MSMEs access to the global market.
In return, Dr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., Chairman of Trade Facilitation, PCCI, and Mr. Adonis Carmona, President of the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. expressed their full support in the ongoing trade facilitation initiatives of the Bureau of Customs, and actively engaged during the group discussions. They shared, assisted, and identified the priority areas and strategic activities that were included in the draft PTFC Roadmap.
All PTFC members capped the Writeshop with an agreed PTFC Vision Statement “Rise above the TIDES – Transparent, Inclusive, Digital, Efficient, and Secure Customs and Trade Procedures.” The PTFC Vision Statement would focus on the six (6) Key Reform Areas for implementation, namely (1) Stakeholder Engagement, (2) Inter-agency Coordination, (3) Technology Infrastructure, (4) Legal and Regulatory Framework, (5) COVID Response Measure and (6) Support to MSMEs that would support and challenge the key implementers to come up with the appropriate tasks and deliverables in matching business expectations.
High-level collaborative arrangements will continue between the government and the private sector in finalizing the detailed activities of the PTFC Roadmap 2022-2028.
“It is now a shared responsibility in ensuring that the trade facilitation reforms are implemented in compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, responsive to the aspiration and needs of the trading community, as the ultimate beneficiary,” Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said in her closing message.