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NEWS UPDATES 19 July 2010

Phillipine government wants to know

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THE Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants motor vehicle assemblers to disclose their production and hiring plans in the next five to 10 years so the government could determine the extent of assistance that would be extended them, according to the Manila Times.

“The MVDP [Motor Vehicle Development Program] should be crafted so that it promotes long-term employment growth,” DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said, referring to the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Development Program.

The Board of Investments (BOI), an agency under the DTI that shepherded the creation of the new MVDP, is drafting the implementing rules and regulations of the new program.

Domingo said the guidelines of the new program should encourage players to create more jobs through the grant of incentives.

He said this is important in light of the full implementation of the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement, which allows duty-free trade of goods, including vehicles, within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc “If they employ people here, we have to support them,” he said, referring to car assemblers.

Before she bowed out of office, former President Arroyo issued Executive Order (EO) 877-A, which contains the new MVDP.

Importers belonging to the Alliance of Vehicle Importers and Distributors had asked President Benigno Aquino 3rd to repeal the Arroyo directive, citing “undue haste and lack of sufficient public consultation in issuing the EO 877-A.”

The importers claim that the new MVDP discriminates against them and runs afoul of the government’s commitments to the World Trade Organization.

Domingo, who chairs the BOI, however said the agency had informed him that vehicle importers were consulted during the drafting of the MVDP.

The BOI began drafting the new car program in late 2008 and conducted a series of industry and public consultations last year.

The new car program comes as vehicle importers are making inroads into the local car market. This was dramatized in March when importer Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. dislodged assembler Honda Cars Philippines Inc. from the third spot in terms of sales

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