Secretary Favila, will you let another industry go under?

HON. PETER FAVILA
Secretary
Department of Trade and Industry

Mr. Secretary:

Since the l990s, one Philippine industry after another has been collapsing – shoes, textiles, rubber, onion, garlic, etc. All this due to unbridled economic liberalization, weak government-industry coordination to meet global competition and national indecisiveness in dealing with smuggling, foreign dumping and unfair trade practices of other countries.

Today, CAWC, Inc., a Filipino producer of STPP (sodium tripolyphosphates), a detergent ingredient, is facing a life-and-death struggle to survive under the most unfair trade environment. Because of the rising flood of dumped and subsidized STPP imports, CAWC has been incurring massive losses, which rose from P33 million in 2003 to P135 million in 2005, while multinational detergent companies have been registering net incomes of approximately P2 billion a year. There has been a surge of STPP imports, from 3,000 metric tons in 2001 to 20,210 MTs in 2005, or an increase of 700 per cent, cornering 65 per cent of the domestic STPP market from almost zero in the l990s. This is why your office originally granted a provisional safeguard. In fact, the DTI report concluded, “The application of the safeguard measure will not be an additional burden to consumers contrary to allegations.” Additionally, “there is no clear indication that imposition of safeguard measures will create a political or economic crisis. The impact of the said measure on the consuming public will be negligible.” (DTI Report, SGM Case No. 1-2006, 06 July 2006). Subsequently, the Tariff Commission, after a series of hearings, recommended a definitive safeguard to counter this STPP foreign dumping, coming mainly from China.

Hence, Mr. Secretary, we are greatly puzzled by your policy somersault, reversing the earlier position taken by DTI and contradicting the findings of the Tariff Commission! What is the logic behind your decision declaring the safeguard tariff measure as injurious to public interest? Are we sacrificing another Philippine industry in the name of unbridled economic liberalization? Are we supporting the creation of jobs in other countries?

Mahal na Kalihim, mangyari lamang pong pakiwasto ang ating patakaran.

Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade)
Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI)
Citizens’ Alliance for Consumer Power (CACP)
PEACE Foundation / UNORKA
Samahan ng Magsasapatos sa Pilipinas (SMP)
Labor Alliance for Better Order and Reforms (LABOR)
Garments, Textiles and Allied Industry Labor Council (GARTEX)
National Confederation of Labor (NCL)
Association of Democratic Labor Organization (ADLO)
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Manggagawa (KASAMA)
Unified Filipino Service Workers (UFSW)
Filipinong Samahang Manggagawa (FSM)
National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE)
Philippine Employer-Labor Social Partnership, Inc. (PELSPI)
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)
Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan, Inc.

—————————

Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star, Page 8, March 28, 2007.

Tariff Commission’s Formal Investigation Report on Sodium Tripolyphosphates (STPP)
FairTrade urges DTI to reverse ruling on STPP safeguard
Cheaper soaps is good for public
Howl raised over DTI junking of tariff cover on soap input

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