Comprehensive package to lure investments into textile sector pushed

Philippine exporters are pushing for a fully comprehensive investment package that is more friendly to investors in line with their bid to revive the country’s textile industry.

Robert Young, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) trustee for textile, yarn and fabric sector, said there should be a guaranteed and honored tax benefits or grants.

“Unlike the TRABAHO (Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities) bill that investors are surprised/compromised with new tax amendments and schemes. Similarly with the export tax credit/refund which suddenly was suspended,” he said.

Young, who is also president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), underscored the importance of having a comprehensive investment package, as the Philippines was offered substantial transferred production orders due to the current trade war between the United States and China.

“We have benefited only in a very small scale, reason being is that the Philippines is not ready. We lack competent manufacturers and locally-milled textile plus required accessories,” he noted.

Young said the Philippines catered only 10 percent of the relocated garment orders from China, and most of which went to Vietnam.

To boost the textile industry, Young also proposed other “out-of-the-box” measures, including favorable rationalized reduction of the 12-percent value-added tax (VAT), granting of special concession power rate, providing incentives to compensate labor rate differential, extending duty-free importation of textile machinery/equipment, and eradicating or controlling technical importation.

He also called on the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to sponsor a textile technology course in line with Industrial Revolution 4.0.

“Textile has revolutionized in the last five years,” he added.

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