Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified 10 priority programs of the agency that it wishes to be pursued by the next leadership, and top of its list is the non-reversal of the current policy direction and continuity of economic reforms of the Duterte administration.

In a Viber message to trade reporters Thursday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said these programs will support the next administration to continue the economic recovery efforts led by President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said these programs have helped the Philippines to log an 8.3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter of 2022.

Lopez said the DTI wants the next leadership to ensure full economic recovery through the continued rollout of the immunization program so all areas will be placed under Alert Level 1 and classes could return to face-to-face setup.

The next DTI chief should also hike the budget for programs modernizing and advancing the productivity of local production capacities, especially to improve the capabilities of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The DTI also included in its priority list the policies and programs for innovation, such as the establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs) and Center for AI Research; e-commerce and financial technology; developing the electric vehicle ecosystem; and giving focus on creative industries.

Lopez said the agency, with the incoming leadership, should continue initiatives to ease doing business and pursue streamlining and digitalization of government transactions and processes.

He added consumer protections should also be pursued by passing the Internet Transaction Act and providing a budget for standards and testing equipment.

“Intelligence fund (is) needed to strengthen the campaign against smugglers, profiteers, hoarders, and e-commerce scammers,” Lopez said, adding that the link of DTI with the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in operations against smugglers and scammers should be strengthened.

Lopez said these programs will be discussed with the next DTI chief. (PNA)