Local suppliers or exporters and foreign buyers are encouraged to settle their export-related disputes through free mediation services provided by the government.
The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) said Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 19-04 applies only to disputes relating to export trade transactions involving exportable goods and services from the Philippines.
These include but are not limited to non-payment of delivery, non-delivery of paid order, cancelled letter of credit order (CLIC), short shipment, non-compliance to quality specification, and unjustified non-performance of contractual obligations.
“The DTI continuously receives export trade complaints relating to exported Philippine goods and services, which, if remain unresolved, will seriously affect the image of the Philippines as a reliable source of goods and services,” the DAO read.
Export trade complaints may be filed with the EMB, any DTI Office, DTI attached agencies, or the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC).
PTIC is the DTI overseas post where the trade representative is assigned to provide commercial representation for the Philippines to foreign countries.
The export trade complaint shall be immediately endorsed to the secretariat of the Export Trade Complaints Committee (ETCC), an inter-agency committee that shall recommend specific actions on these complaints.
All export trade complaints must be in writing and signed by the complainant and may be in electronic document form. The complaint may be filed personally, by mail, or by electronic means. Copies of pertinent documents supporting the complaint must be attached to the complaint.
If the respondent files its answer and agrees to take part in the mediation, the mediation officer shall commence with mediating the case and shall schedule the date of the initial conference.
However, if the respondent, at any stage of the proceeding, refuses to take part in the mediation process, the mediation officer shall declare a failure of mediation.
The period for mediation shall be 30 calendar days from the date of initial conference unless there are sincere efforts to settle and both mediation parties agree to an extension which shall not exceed 15 calendar days.
“If an agreement is reached, it shall be reduced into writing and signed by the mediation parties. A copy of the signed agreement must be submitted to the mediation officer in order to declare the mediation as settled,” the DAO said.
Upon receipt of the mediation officer’s executive summary, the ETCC shall evaluate and deliberate upon it and prepare a resolution for consideration of the Supervising Undersecretary.
A party watchlisted may be removed and the privilege to receive assistance/service from the DTI may be restored, upon request by a party or motu propio by the ETCC, upon the condition that the grounds for watchlisting have ceased to exist.
Watchlisting may be effected based on these grounds: the respondent used a fictitious name or address; the respondent is involved in two or more export trade complaints; or there is a substantial finding, based on past and present complaints, that the acts complained of would seriously affect the image of the Philippines as a reliable supplier of goods or services.