Anti-investment scams training conducted

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the United States Federal Trade Commission (US FTC) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), conducted a three-day capability building training for local enforcement agencies responsible for addressing issues related to pyramiding and investment scams last 25-27 May 2016 at the Pan Pacific Hotel Manila.

The training aims to capacitate local enforcement authorities to be able to identify unlawful pyramiding and investment schemes to better protect the consumers, especially those belonging to the lower-income bracket who are most vulnerable to “get rich quick” offers. A prosecutorial training is also set on the third day to sharpen the skills of investigators and government lawyers who handle cases related to fraud schemes.

The US FTC and US SEC designed the training based on the current legal and enforcement setup of the Philippines to make the topics more responsive to the needs of the country in terms of addressing fraudulent marketing schemes.

The training modules include Fundamentals of Pyramiding and Investment Schemes, Overview of Marketing Scams in the Philippines, US and Philippine Pyramid Scheme Models, and Consumer Advocacy Programs on Pyramiding and Investment Scams, among others.

NKATBP Cebu Leg

Cebu holds its Negosyo, Konsyumer, ATBP from June 9-11.

The “Negosyo, Konsyumer ATBP” aims to bring closer to the MSMEs focused and integrated menu of DTI Services and Programs targeted to help MSMEs address the challenges they are currently facing in their business operations and improve their competitiveness. The event also aims to increase the level of awareness of consumers on their rights and responsibilities and the business sector on their compliance to the prescribed laws and policies.

Activities include:

  • breakout sessions such as the National Logistics Roadmap, Investment Briefing, Sustainable Business Models and Maker trainings
  • Food Safety Seminar
  • Seminar on Expanding your Business through E-commerce
  • Consumer and Standard Blitz
  • Catapulting Business for the Global Market and Capability Building for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Skills Enhancement of Negosyo Center Counselors on the Effective Utilization of Trade Marks
  • Slingshot Cebu

Investments up by 64% in 1st 4 months

Investments approved by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in the first four months of the year reached P117.26 billion, up by 64 percent compared to the P71.62 billion posted in the same period last year.  These were generated from 101 projects and are expected to create 16,366 additional jobs, once fully operational.

For the month of April alone, a total of P55.33 billion was generated, which recorded a remarkable 225 percent increase compared to the P17 billion generated for the same month in 2015.

Among the big ticket projects approved in April include GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (with Php16.75 Billion), a PPP project for the Cebu International Airport Project (Phase 2 – operation and maintenance of Terminal 2); Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) (Php15.15 Billion), modernization of the existing system – operations and maintenance of Manila LRT 1 Integrated Railway System Project; and Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corporation (Php12.18 Billion), renewable energy developer of 60MW Kapangan Hydroelectric Project in Benguet.

On a sector level, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply recorded the largest share of investment commitments at P48.97 billion (42 percent), followed by the construction sector with P31.90 billion (27 percent), real estate activities, specifically, the economic and low-cost housing sub-sector with P19.61 billion (17 percent), transportation and storage with P10.06 billion (nine percent); and manufacturing with P5.97 Billion (five percent).

Major manufacturing sub-sectors, based on their respective shares to total investment approvals in the first four months include food products (P5.16 billion or 86.5 percent share); motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (P122.59 million or 2.1 percent share); leather and other related products (P62.01 million or 1 percent share); wearables and apparel (P24.66 million or 0.4 percent); and other manufacturing products (P593.77 million or 10 percent share).

Of the total investment approvals, 84 percent or P98.54 billion came from local investors and the remaining 16 percent or P18.73 billion from foreign sources.

Singapore was the top foreign investor with P8.22 billion, accounting for 44 percent share of the total investments from foreign nationals, followed by the Netherlands with P5.96 billion (32 percent share); British Virgin Islands with P2.02 million (11 percent share); United States with P604.54 million (3 percent); and United Kingdom with P505.49 million (3 percent share).

1st FabLab in Luzon launced

S/ASC launched the first Fabrication Laboratory (Fablab) Co-working space in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur last May 26, 2016.

The Ilocos Fablab is the first in Luzon to offer advanced technology assistance to local MSMEs. It is housed at Philippine Science High School(PSHS)-Ilocos Region Campus providing students access to this high-end laboratory  and to help in research and development requirements of local MSMEs. The Ilocos Fablab is a project of the DTI in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology.

Fablabs began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help grassroots communities translate their design ideas into actual products with the help of technology and 24/7 support of a worldwide network of Fablabs. The Fablab, in varying forms,  is present in about 200 locations in over 50 countries.

IEC National Committee to be created

The Department of Trade and Industry- Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) has undertaken a Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting on the Draft Department Administrative Order (DAO) for the creation of the Philippine’s International Electrotechnical Commission National Committee (IEC-NC) last 13 May 2016 at the Board of Investment’s (BOI) Audio Visual Room of the Investments Building at 385 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.

The consultation meeting gathered comments on the said draft DAO from BPS Technical Committees (TC) and the Philippines’ electronic sector.

Through the draft DAO, the DTI-BPS aims to ensure proper Philippine government and private sector representations in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that takes the lead as the international standards-setting body for international standards and conformity assessment procedures on electrotechnical products and services.

The participants in the consultation meeting were asked to finalize their comments for BPS’ consideration. The Draft order was circulated last 08 April 2016.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a non-profit organization, non-governmental organization that publishes consensus-based International Standards (IS) that manages conformity assessment systems for electric and electronic products, systems and services collectively known as electrotechnology. IEC publications serve as basis for country standardization activities and facilitate world trade by providing common standards for use of its members.

PAB launches 2 new accreditation schemes

The Department of Trade and Industry’s-Philippine Accreditation Bureau (DTI-PAB) is launching its accreditation schemes for Information Security Management System and Energy Management System. These new accreditation schemes were approved by the PAB Council during its 7th Meeting last 26th April 2016 for PAB’s implementation.

The Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) Certification Scheme is based on the ISO 27000 family of standards which help organisations ensure that their information is securely managed. Interested Certification Bodies need to comply first with the ISO/IEC 27006:2015 – Information technology – Security techniques – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems.

On the other hand, the Energy Management Systems (EnMS) Scheme is based on ISO 50001:2011 a standard which helps organisations improve their energy performance, increase energy efficiency and reduce climate change impacts. ISO 50001 is aligned with other management systems standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, allowing organisations to easily integrate systems. Interested Certification Bodies need to comply first with the ISO 50003:2014 – Energy management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of energy management systems.

Being management systems schemes, it is also a prerequisite for applicant Certification Bodies for ISMS and EnMS to comply with ISO/IEC 17021– Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.

The two (2) new schemes will be formally launched during the World Accreditation Day on June 09, 2016.

PHL hosts 24th APEC AD

The Philippines, through the Board of Investments (BOI), is hosting the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Automotive Dialogue (APEC AD) starting today, May 25 until May 27, 2016 at the Makati Diamond Residences where discussions are expected to center on the current status of the Automotive Industry in the Asia Pacific Region and the ongoing initiatives of the working group.

The APEC AD serves as a forum for APEC member economy officials and senior industry representatives to work together to map-out strategies for increasing the integration and development of the automotive sector within the region. It is one of the Industry Dialogues under the APEC Committee on Trade and Investments along with the Chemicals Dialogue and Life Sciences Innovation Forum.

At the 22nd and 23rd APEC AD also chaired by the Philippines through BOI, the vital role of SMEs in the automotive manufacturing industry and their integration into the regional and global markets where two workshops on the experiences and best practices of some SMEs in their participation in the GVCs were highlighted. The meeting also hosted various initiatives focusing on SMEs and their needs to better participate in GVCs including the study on the GVC-SME Automotive Sector (GSAS) conducted by Malaysia and Philippines with the aim of gathering information on automotive industry SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly the barriers they encounter in their endeavor to penetrate the international trading system.

“As a follow through, the APEC AD hopes to identify and develop a capacity building action plan for SMEs based on the findings of the study,” said BOI Executive Director for Industry Development Services Ma. Corazon Dichosa, also the APEC AD chair. “A compendia on motor-vehicle related taxes as well as automotive business regimes were also initiated to provide member economies with up-to-date vital information on the automotive sectors in the region. These aims to provide the auto industry, particularly SMEs with information to aid them in penetrating the GVC, e.g. market size of the economies, business regulations,” she said.

At the 24th APEC AD, the working group will discuss updates on APEC Developments, as well as the AD’s workplan until 2017.