IRR on controlled chemicals approved

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on controlled chemicals has been signed and approved by DTI and DILG.

The IRR is pursuant to Section 4-C to 4-F of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1866 as amended by Republic Act (RA) No. 9516, which provides the list of chemicals to be controlled, the streamlined procedures for the regulation including storage, handling, and transport of controlled chemicals; and the accreditation guidelines for logistics providers, including those that are company-owned trucks and service vehicles.

The IRR is a product of the consolidated inputs and insights of the members of the various meetings and consultations of a main technical working group (TWG) co-chaired by Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo and DILG Undersecretary Edwin Enrile; and the three sub-technical working groups on the categorization of chemicals, streamlining of processes, and accreditation of logistics providers and company-owned trucks and service vehicles on controlled chemicals.

“Chemicals are basic inputs in the operations of the manufacturing sector and therefore it is important to the system up and running smoothly as this would easily translate into improvement of the other sectors within the manufacturing industry,” said Secretary Cristobal.

GVC analysis on 5 key sectors conducted

Global value chain (GVC) studies on the aerospace, automotive and auto parts, chemicals, electronics and electrical machinery, and paper industries will be presented to various stakeholders through a public forum on  June 2, 2016 at the Makati Diamond Residences.

Conducted by the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance, & Competitiveness (Duke CGGC), the five studies were commissioned under the Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program and the Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Philippine Board of Invetments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI). The GVC studies are intended to assist the BOI in its efforts to further develop its framework and strategies in promoting industries built on best practices.

“The findings of the studies carried out by the Duke CGGC are important in formulating policies and programs on how firms, SMEs in particular, can participate in GVCs and, for those that are already participating, how to upgrade and move up the value chain. The research studies provide evidence  which serve as basis to improve our industry development strategies towards a more globally competitive Philippine manufacturing industry,” said DTI Assistant Secretary for Industry Development Rafaelita Aldaba.

The Philippine new industrial policy as contained in the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS), the country’s blueprint for linking the manufacturing, agriculture, and services sectors, aims to improve the country’s competitiveness by upgrading the productivity of its industries and removing the binding constraints to their development.

Under this policy, the government acts as enabler of the private sector, which is the proximate engine of growth, and serves as facilitator of initiatives that will create the proper environment for private sector development. The new industrial policy is cluster-based and GVC-focused and intends to build strong regional economies in the country and focus government efforts in integrating local industries into regional production networks and enabling SMEs to move up their GVCs.

The GVC studies particularly focus on how the mentioned industries can reinforce forward and backward linkages. The analyses cover the structure of each industry’s value chain—from inputs, technologies, processes through distribution and marketing—at the global level, and indicates where the Philippines currently fits within these GVCs. It explores the global competitive environment for these value chains, and how the Philippines compares relative to its competitors.

The GVC studies also analyze the most binding contraints preventing Philippine firms from moving up the industry GVCs, and recommend strategies for value chain upgrading and improving competitiveness, as well as the needed investments, human resource requirements, and the roles of government and industry stakeholders in implementing these.

PHL hosts 21st AMEICC meeting

Last month, Philippines hosted the 21st Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers-Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee’s (AMEICC) Working Group on Chemical Industry (WG-CI) to identify best practices in chemicals regulation as well as lock-in concrete interventions needed to address chemical safety issues and promote chemical safety management.

The chemicals industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country with revenues reaching PHP 330 billion in 2009. It involves the manufacture of basic chemicals, rubber products, plastic products and other chemicals. The industry has extensive links with other industries including agriculture/agribusiness, automotive, cement, creative, construction, energy, fishing, health, housing, and pharmaceuticals industries.

DTI also announced to delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and Japan that the Philippines’ chemical industry has experienced a strong, sustained, and double digit growth of 16.5 percent in 2015, surpassing its 2014 growth rate of 4.9 percent.

IRR on controlled chemicals

BOI facilitated a stakeholder consultation on the draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on controlled chemicals pursuant to Section 4-C to 4-F of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1866 as amended by Republic Act (RA) No. 9516, which provides  the list of chemicals to be controlled; the streamlined procedures for the regulation including on storage, handling and transport of controlled chemicals; and the accreditation guidelines for  logistics providers, including those that are  company-owned trucks and service vehicles.

The PNP, last January 2013, expanded to 41 substances, its master list of regulated chemicals including common household chemicals and those used by various business industries and sectors.  The expansion of the list required companies to secure a permit with the PNP to import, handle, or transport chemicals including those that are commonly-used in manufacturing. The move, according to PNP, was in keeping with the directive of PD 1866 as amended by RA No. 9516.

This however has a negative impact on the industries which makes use of the identified chemicals since they are now required to secure several permits from various government agencies.

Assistant Secretary Aldaba said that it was highlighted that chemicals is one of the most highly-regulated industries in the country, noting there are currently seven government agencies regulating the industry namely the Philippine Drugs and Enforcement Agency, Dangerous Drugs Board, PNP, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Customs, and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.