25 October 2019, Manila Hotel, City of Manila


Ladies and gentlemen, Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat!

Bago po ako pumunta sa sustainable development topic, kasi consumer group po tayo dito so gusto ko lang naman ishare ang ibang mga balita that would concern the consumers.

As consumers, we deal with government and frontline government services. So, it’s important for you to be updated that the news for the first time that the Philippines had a very good performance in Ease of Doing Business Ranking. We improved by 29 notches. From 124th rank to 95th.

Marami po kasing indicators dito sa World Bank Ease of Doing Business. Una dito is starting a business and continuing reforms po tayo dyan. Sooner than later hopefully we can see this integrated one business portal wherein all the agencies involved in starting a business will be there. From the time you register in DTI.

By the way, the DTI as a consumer if you register a business there – nine minutes business name registration from filling up to paying, e-payment, and the printing of your registration. Nine minutes na lang po.

If you look into that, SEC which is right now a working progress because they are also automating, but once they finished their automation, but more than the automation is a total change in the way they will register business. Its not an incremental change in other words hindi lang nagbawas ng pipirma or nagbawas ng mga proseso kung hindi papalitan talaga ‘yung form and the information to be filled up and the system of automatic registration rather than a thorough long evaluation that can take days or weeks or months.

So, we will try to have a different format. A different mindset na ang mga registration it should be fairly automatic. And then any requirement can be a post-registration compliance. So magkakaroon po tayo ng mga change in the way we do things and hopefully with that we can further shorten the processes, shorten the time and the cost of doing business in the Philippines.

So from SEC, DTI then pupunta ka sa SSS, Pag-IBIG, Philhealth ganun din ang proseso. Streamlining, one form and then e-payment, going into the Mayor’s permit.

Mayor’s permit dito sa Manila. They are able to do now in less than one day. But since they are getting automated according to the Mayor Isko sabi niya ay kaya in less than one hour. So, if Manila can do that, Quezon City is doing the same. Valenzuela 8 minutes also in Mayor’s permit and Parañaque the one we inaugurated also about a month ago was also doing it in about one hour. But all of them given all these examples, it shows na kaya and everybody is getting into this challenge parang competition din. So sooner than later lahat ito will just be mga 8 or 10 minutes.

So, if you combine the whole just starting a business from DTI, SEC, SSS, Pag-IBIG, Philhealth and then Mayor’s permit and then BIR registration automatic na din. And then, nandyan na rin ‘yung mga e-filing etc. Lahat ‘yan pag compress mo hopefully within one hour what used to take over 13 days na iba iba pang pupuntahan mo at pipila pa. Hopefully, with the power of our computer or smartphone dito na tayo magreregister.

So ‘yan po ang end game natin. Di po ‘yan account this year because working progress but hopefully next year in the next round that can be counted. So, we are looking into all this improvement also in issuing more memo circulars from SEC that will further protect minority investors. Isa rin po ‘yan sa reasons kung bakit tumaas tayo this year and then moving to next year marami pa tayong pwedeng gawin doon that can improve further ‘yung protection of minority investors.

Dealing with construction permits so many streamlining done already and the sample LGU is Quezon City. And doon nag One Stop Shop na sila sa getting construction permit. Hindi lang siya thoroughly 100% felt.

We submitted 42 reforms only 9 were credited because part of the requirement is that para ma-accept siya it has to be felt already and the users are getting surveyed. So that’s the reason why kahit 9 pa lang ang na accept out of the 42 ok lang ‘yun‘Yung balanse ‘nun are being felt now and hopefully in the next year it will be credited already. So, may baon pa tayo.

So now that we reached the 95 we are talking now of the road to 70. And hopefully road to 50 bago kami umalis. So ‘yun ang mga target po natin.

So, it’s a whole-of-government approach di lang po ‘yan DTI. DTI lang po ang nagshare ng doing business reforms at ngayon ay chair ng ARTA but it’s really everyone – the NEDA, DA , the DICT of course the SEC, DOF, the group of BOC BIR, the local government, LRA, DOJ, Supreme Court pinataas ‘yung small claims ginawa ng imbis na 300, 400 thousand which means mas mabilis namas marami na mai-include na mga kaso na under small claims and therefore all these small claim cases can be facilitated. Not need lawyers. Mga ganyan ‘yung mga efforts to really can send many parts of doing business. Example lang po ‘yun isa po ‘yan sa good news natin.

Of course, as consumers were on very much working against sub-standard – ‘yung pag papairal ng standard compliance is very important to us. So under this administration of President Duterte ayaw nyang maapi ang mga taong bayan kaya kasama po sa pang aapi ‘yung pag experience ng mga substandard materials. Kaya ang steel, cement ay sinama natin sa mandatory compliance – pinahigpitan pa lalo.

‘Yung dating sampling or getting steel for testing dati kahit gano kalaki ang barkokahit ilang containers, tatlong piraso lang ang tinitest na bakal. Ngayon, nakasampling na as in ISO-based sampling method. So depende sa dami ng content – ilang metric tons may corresponding number of steel bars that are being tested.

So, we strengthen that. We made that stricter. We are also doing the same testing sa cement. Hindii lamang may PS mark ‘yung factory na pinanggalingan whether local or abroad given bago iimport ‘yung pre-shipment test pagdating dito may post-shipment test pa at bago irelease sa retail. So many testing. So ‘yung lang po ang sample ng pinag-iingat natin at ini-ensure that the products are within standard.

We are adding more product in the mandatory compliance dahil noon po ay maraming nirelease ibig sabihin tinanggalan ng mandatory compliance. Ano pong nangyari? Dumagsa ang mga produkto lalo na imported na hindi pa tinitest. So anong expectation? makakapasok ang substandard. Walang testing eh.

Kapag substandard, anong problema po dun? ‘yung iba selling at a low-price – unfair competition to the legitimate manufacturer. It’s affecting also our manufacturing capacity. ‘Yung mga manufacturers sasabihin nila ayaw na namin magmanufacture lugi kami dito sa pumapasok. So wala na mababawasan na ang manufacturing capacity natin. And that is what we need whenever we think of balancing trade. We want to create and build our domestic manufacturing capacity. So, this is one way to really ensure protecting consumers as well as protecting also the trade na there is fair competition. So, it’s also important na we keep and add more to the mandatory compliance where in products are very essential or will pose danger if they are substandard.

So unfortunately, we are adding glass to the mandatory compliance, but we are facing the court right now. Labanan natin ‘yung mga importer na nagba-block ng mga ganitong mandatory compliance. Na iniinstitute ginagawa ng gobyerno ang trabaho utos po ng Presidente gawin nyo ‘yung trabaho nyo tapos only to be issued a TRO. Di natin maimplement ‘yung standard. Who would benefit? ‘yung lahat ng nagiimport ng substandard. Apektado ‘yung consumer safety, apektado manufacturer. Unfair to all of us. Sana po ang mga consumer organization ito ang labanan natin. Let’s keep mandatory compliance where it is due.

So pag nagface ng TRO dumugin natin ang dami nyo dito. Dumugin natin ‘yung court para ipresent natin lahat ng position natin na this is what we need. Kasi kung hindi ‘yung mga powerful lumaki na ang negosyo illegally ‘yun pa ang nagpifinance nito kay nagkakaroon pa ng mga TRO at lahat. Unfair to all of us. We’re not able to do our job well.

Alam nyo pag natanggal ang mga mandatory compliance tulad nangyari dyanDumadami pa ‘yung import. So, this is now happening so the numbers in plywood I think more than times 10 nung imports in a three-year period. Plywood tinanggal ang mandatory compliance noong 2015 now imports are coming in. 20 times parang 50 million to Php 1 billion. Ganyan karami ang pumasok na imports bigla in three years – import surge happens. Buti kung standard ‘yun eh kung hindi standard kasi walang test. So, it’s very important. We’ll add plywood. We’ll add roofing materials, I think we added tiles already. So, we’re doing all this effort of course sa mga importanteng materyales may mandatory compliance.

So, with the mandatoy compliance these products are going to be tested to comply the standards. Our group, our FTEB sila Dir. Ronnel and his team go around and kasama po ito sa mga minimonitor so hindi lang po presyo pati standards.

Last point, ‘yung pag monitor nga on presyo. So dito rin mga kaibigan natin, Laban Konsyumer. Salamat sa being vigilant in the prices. What we can assure you is that we have a suggested retail price (SRP) system. Para sa kaalaman din ng lahat you just to clarify this, we are not in a price control regime. ‘Yung price control regime nangyari noong 80’s.

I was part of DTI po before I joined the private sector for the longest time. We were the ones computing itong mga price control. Anong presyo dapat kapag gumalaw ang presyo ng cost dapat may corresponding galaw sa presyo and that is only the allowable price, no higher than that. So, I was part of the group during that for I think five years fresh grad pa ko nun.

Now, we’re not in a price control regime. So ang sistema po natin SRP. But just to explain what SRP is sinasabi ng iba hindi nyo naman iniimplement ang SRP. SRP actually is a suggested retail price proposed by the company themselves. All products that you see in the grocery. Ang mga SRP Unilever ‘yan, iba pang brand P&G lahat sila may SRP pagbenta sa retail. So klaro po ‘yun. It’s a company-issued price.

But, DTI as government agency to protect consumers monitors basic necessity prime commodities prices. So, the SRP’s of these commodities, for example canned sardines, canned meat, coffee, milk at iba pang basic necessity prime commodities. In those food categories we all know there are so many brands per category. Kunwari sardinas lang probably would be over 20 brands.

So ang SRP po is that the DTI monitors the basic necessities only for the what we call hopefully politically correct ‘yun bang “pang masa” na product – ‘yung murang brand. Because the objective is just to make sure that there will always be an option for consumers that there is a cheaper option.  Those who can afford di na natin kailangan i-SRP kasi they can afford. They are willing to pay one peso, two pesos, five pesos higher for other consideration – they want more premium, more rekado, gusto nila mas sosyal, etc. many reasons.

But you just assure that there is this low-price segment that will have to be managed. So, its not a price control just to clarify what happens, is that pagdating dito sa mga products included in the SRP we have to sort of negotiate and intervene with DTI in behalf of the consumer. Kaya ito inaassure ko that DTI has consumer representation kasi kaibigan natin si Vic madalas natin kausap ‘yanIto ‘yung nirerepresent na ni DTI to make sure na ‘yung price increase proposal dito sa mga products ay within the range. Pag lumagpas doon sa computation namin ninenegotiate namin pababa and thankfully manufacturers do adjust.

For example, they plan to increase one-peso sa computation namin 10 centavos lang di ko sasabihin pero ibababa namin sa 50 centavos. Kasi baka mamaya 70 centavos ‘yung computation namin pero sasabihin 50 centavos ka lang dapat. So, these things happen. So pag labas ng SRP tempered na only for the monitored product. So nagkakaron ng negotiation I won’t call it price control because just like a business alam ko pag mass product manipis tubo ko dyan ok lang mababa presyo ko dyan. Papano kung sa matataas na premium product? I can charge one peso higher and spread my cost, spread my margin. So that’s how we manage the profit margin. Management lang po ‘yun.

And therefore, the system can be sustained. Kaya nga po thankfully 100% compliance because once the SRPs are published, ang role ng SRP is now to guide the retailers they don’t price higher than this kasi ito na ‘yung SRP issued ng companies. Don’t price higher than that to price us out of the market no this is our suggested retail price. So medyo malinaw po. It’s private sector driven and yet managed by government to protect the consumer and only for the certain brands and sizes. And because of the objective really is just to make sure for each product category, may choice si consumer na mura. So ‘yun po ‘yung objective that’s why we don’t want to control prices for all SKU’s, no need. ‘Yung mahal bahala na ‘yung mahal because you know the mahal eh konti naman ang volume dyan. So ika nga, niche market.

Now, let me go on the sustainable consumption. I just like to explain you that and hopefully sama sama tayong magtulong to maintain basically the system. Kaya po I took time to explain it to you especially po sa mandatory compliances natin. So, let me now go to the speech.

This is really on the sustainable consumption and this will be fast. This Congress is the culminating activity of the Consumer Welfare Month, with your host, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), leading this year’s celebration.

Consumer Welfare Month & Sustainable Consumption

Since 1997, the Philippines has been celebrating Consumer Welfare Month as part of Republic Act (RA) No. 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Under this law, DTI—together with the departments of Agriculture (DA), Education (DepEd), and Health (DOH)—are tasked to disseminate sound consumer information on subjects that affect the consumers. We also have the responsibility to encourage dialogue and cooperation among the consumers, business, and government sectors in strengthening consumer awareness and protection. Hence, we have today’s Congress.

For this year, Consumer Welfare Month is focused on the idea of “Sustainable Consumption” and how consumers’ choices impact in a shared environment. More importantly, it’s about ethical and responsible consumption to protect the environment while meeting the needs of present and future generations.

“Sustainable Consumption” here is defined as using services and products that minimize the use of natural resources, toxic materials, and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of a service or product. This, in turn, will not jeopardize the needs of future generations.

For today’s Congress, “Sustainable Consumption” is an umbrella term that brings together a number of key issues. These include the following: meeting the needs of the living; enhancing the quality of life; improving resource efficiency; increasing the use of renewable energy sources; minimizing waste; taking a life cycle perspective; and taking into account the equity dimension.

Integrating these component parts is the central question of how we can provide better services to meet the basic requirements of life and the aspirations for improvement of both current and future generations. We also need to work towards continually reducing environmental damage and risks to human health.

Better Consumers through Responsible Consumption

This is more than just about consuming green products or availing of green services. Rather, it’s about responsible consumption and about consuming differently and efficiently. This is consumption that takes into account the foundations of sustainable development and that is beneficial to—and takes into consideration—three different yet integral elements.

First, it benefits the economy—especially the local economy—as it allows goods and services to be traded, which then benefits the players involved in these trades. Second, it has a positive impact on society, as the products or services purchased are linked to a workforce that has fair wages and working conditions – it is like fair trade. These also have a good effect for the buyers. Third, a responsible consumer acknowledges the effects associated with the products’ different stages—from its production to its transportation and disposal—and supports those with a lower impact.

For the latter, this means we become “better” consumers in three ways: (1) buying better by buying greener products; (2) consuming better by wasting less and having a more sustainable consumption; and (3) disposing better by taking into account recycling in particular.

Unfortunately, we are currently consuming more resources than ever before such that we are exceeding the planet’s capacity to supply future generations. Waste and pollution grows, and health, education, equity, and empowerment are all adversely affected. Crucially, while sustainable consumption and production can help in the transition towards low-carbon and green economies, it can also contribute substantially to poverty alleviation. This requires building cooperation among many different stakeholders as well as across sectors in all countries.

This is what this year’s celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month builds upon. It’s raising awareness on the detrimental effects of our consumption on the environment even as it serves as a call to action to save our planet for the present and future generations.

Celebrating National Consumer Congress 2019

To ensure that we attain this objective, we need to set up specific goals. That’s why representatives from the government, business, academe, and consumer sectors are meeting today to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 and in particular, SDG 12 on Responsible Production and Consumption. So, it will be excited to hear about that, more about that from Usec. Edillon.

The SDGs are unique in that they urge all countries—poor, rich, and middle-income—to promote shared and inclusive prosperity while also protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must also go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth.

As such, these Goals address a range of social needs—like education, health, social protection, and job opportunities—while also tackling climate change and environmental protection.

The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and—in order to leave no one behind—it is important for each Goal and target to be achieved by 2030.

Pwede rin po kasing hindi siya inconsistent. In other words, consistent po siya in the sense na you can promote prosperity, create more income, good for business and yet good for environment by changing business models.

For example, right now madami tayong naririnig about recycling. And then nandyan na rin ‘yung mga waste to energy – all this waste even can be upcycled. Circular economy can become energy. Cement plants are all looking for all this trash and waste kaylangan nila sa kanilang combustion for energy. So that’s one.

The other thing is changing business models like in packaging. There are talks now with mga leading consumer companies and I understand Senator Pia Cayetano was passionate about this considering certain laws that can encourage more sustainable packaging.

We might go back to the system of wholesale packaging and then meron dispenser. We were discussing imagine there are 900 maybe about 500-600 thousand sari-sari stores. Assuming 1 million sari sari stores lahat ‘yun bigyan natin ng mga containers. Containers sa cooking oil, containers sa suka, toyo, sabon, shampoo lahat ‘yan nakaseal pero dispenser so ‘yung buyer bring your own container.

So, in the sari-sari store that can be like parang sa fastfood ‘yung ketchup if you think about it pwedeng mag ganun because sachets considered to be one of the issue ngayon sa mga waste disposal. Sachet, aluminum foil, tetra pack etc.

So maraming challenges if you think about this way changing models it’s possible changing packaging so pwedeng win-win pa rin. And there are new ways, maiiba ang form the way we look business, the way we look packaging and go into dispensing rather than small packages.


To close, we are confident that today’s Congress will guide us to be responsible consumers even as we commit ourselves to Sustainable Consumption. The journey will be long and arduous. But by working together, we are determined that no Filipino—both present and future generations—will be left behind.

In doing so, we fulfil President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise of Tapang at Malasakit for greater inclusive growth and shared prosperity and sustainable growth for all.

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat.