DTI to revive garment, textile industries

By Kris Crismundo

August 23, 2018, 7:58 pm

MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking at ways to revive the local garment and textile industries, in hopes of generating more employment and to realize the administration's inclusive growth agenda.

On the sidelines of the first Philippine Garment, Leather Goods Industries, and Fabrics Expo in Pasay City Thursday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters that the government is offering incentives to companies that wish to modernize their garment and textile operations by investing in new equipment and production technologies.

Garment and textile manufacturers may avail of the government's incentives program through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), if their products are for export. However, firms catering to the local market may instead register with the Board of Investments (BOI) if they are introducing modern technologies so they too may avail of fiscal incentives.

“(W)e have to have a vibrant textile (industry), and revive the textile industry (by) jump-starting it with technology, machines, as support to the industry,” Lopez said.

The trade chief also said that the government is inviting textile makers from China and India to establish production facilities in the Philippines. He said it is feasible to produce denim and cotton in the locality since there are demands for these fabrics.

For the garment sector, he said the country is banking on innovation and creativity. “We still continue to promote garments by having more creative designs, banking on innovation and creativity,” Lopez explained.

“Of course we will continue to include it in the IPP (Investment Priorities Plan), or if we will have the SIPP (Strategic Investment Priorities Plan), we will continue to include it so it will become a strategic, long-term support for the garments,” he added. Lopez noted that the industry accounted for up to 30 percent of employment in the manufacturing sector.

Aside from providing tax perks, the official said DTI is pushing for the inclusion of garments in the Generalized System of Preferences and the possible free trade agreement with the United States. With these preferential trade deals with the US, the Philippine government aims for a zero-duty or lower tariff for garments from the country entering the US market. (PNA)