MANILA—Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez highlighted the legislative plans of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to cement closer collaboration with the Lone District of Navotas Representative John Reynald Tiangco, the new House Chair of the Committee on Trade and Industry, as they held their first virtual meeting on 12 January.

The Trade Secretary requested for the assistance of Rep. Tiangco to prioritize the passage of the following bills: Revised Consumer Act of the Philippines, Expanded Price Act, and One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines, as well as the Revised Warehouse Receipts Law still pending at the Committee on Appropriations.

Sec. Lopez also relayed DTI’s gratitude to Rep. Tiangco and the entire Congress for passing the CREATE bill. Following the discussion in Senate, there will be bicameral meetings held on the bill.

Sec. Lopez said, “This is a very important piece of legislation that will help the country’s economy recover much faster and stronger, with the reduction in income tax rates and better set of time-bound, performance-based and focused incentives.”

“The CREATE bill is a game-changer in attracting more investments in the country,” he further explained.

Sec. Lopez also mentioned DTI’s accomplishments of last year and objectives for 2021, stressing the agency’s support for the country’s business community, particularly the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). He also affirmed DTI’s commitment to work closely with the legislators in achieving these goals.

“Our objective in the Department is to continue with the safe and gradual reopening of the economy as we manage COVID-19,” Sec Lopez said.

He added “As part of our mandate in ensuring economic recovery amid the pandemic, DTI has always and will continue to look at how we can rebuild a stronger, modern, and dynamic trade and industry sector.”

Likewise, the trade chief cited innovation as one of key thrusts of the government for this year and recommended that the newly filed Creative Industries Act be included among the priority legislative measures.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tiangco highlighted the partnership between DTI and House Committee on Trade and Industry, which led to the enactment of no less than 41 laws since the 8th Congress. He further lauded the impact of DTI’s efforts throughout the country and beyond.

“DTI’s voice is much needed not only in our ongoing deliberations within the halls of Congress, but also with our dialogue and discussion with the nation’s business community, MSMEs, and consumers. This is considering DTI’s work in promoting domestic and foreign investments, fostering the growth and sustainability of our MSMEs, and upholding the welfare of our consumers,” Tiangco said.

Sec. Lopez also welcomed the congressman’s plans for greater collaboration with the private sector with regard to the latter’s vaccination program. The trade chief reiterated DTI’s support for this program as it would help in the country’s economic recovery.

“We look forward to a closer collaboration with the Representative as the new Chairperson of the House Committee on Trade and Industry and welcome his plans in further assisting our efforts to help MSMEs to build back better,” Sec Lopez concluded.♦

Date Released: 14 January 2020