Chemical manufactuers ask government help

The Philippine chemical manufacturers are asking for government support to keep foreign exchange rate competitive and help boost the manufacturing industry.

PHILEXPORT trustee for the chemical sector Oscar Barrera stressed that exporters would earn more revenues with weaker currency, as locally-produced goods could be sold cheaper as compared to imported goods. 

Millions of Filipinos working abroad, on the other hand, could send more money to their families and relatives in the country.  “They have families here who will have more capacity to pay for goods and that will stir up the economy,” adding that they prefer a P44 to the dollar level against the current P42 level.

To improve the country’s trade competitiveness, Barrera also underscored the need to rationalize the rules and laws affecting business.

He cited the perennial problem of local government ordinances which allow local governments to tax even trucks that pass through their barangays or cities. These add to the cost of doing business and distribution around the country, said Barrera.

Barrera urged the government to provide the manufacturing companies using locally-made products a rebate equal to the tariffs that would have been paid if the goods are imported.

With adequate support, he expressed optimism that manufacturing, particularly the chemicals industry could grow as much as 15 percent a year compared to only three to five percent it posted in 2011.