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DTI eyes better strategy to aid auto industry

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) it is looking at crafting a better strategy in order to help the automotive industry.

“Right now I cannot see the light. I need to see the bigger picture and craft a better strategy,” Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said in an interview.

“What I’ve seen so far doesn’t give me confidence,” he added when asked about the Motor Vehicle Development Plan (MVDP).

According to Domingo, the industry may be worse off in the future if a good plan is not put in place, adding he will meet with the players of the auto industry next year in order get a better feel of the industry.

“We will work with the industry players and clarify their plans,” Domingo said. Although he refused to directly confirm if a new MVDP will be issued, Domingo said that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will not be released this year. The IRR was supposed to have been issued in August.

In fact, it is possible that the government will no longer come out with the IRR for the MVDP given the pressure that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and specifically the Board of Investments (BOI) are receiving.

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A ranking official said the DTI has received a number of inquiries both from industry players and senators for the IRR. The official said that it is possible that an IRR may no longer be issued.

Domingo admitted that the importation of second hand vehicles is one of the areas they are having trouble with in the IRR.

In a separate interview, BOI managing head Cristino L. Panlilio admitted they are having trouble with the IRR but denied that they will no longer come out with one. Instead, he said that they might come out with different IRRs for different subsections. The subsectors are automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and e-cars and public utility vehicles (PUV).

Panlilio said that they might be able to come out with the IRR for the motorcycle and its parts earlier because it is not “contentious.”

“The auto and the truck may take some time,” Panlilio conceded.

For his part, Domingo said he has not yet approved the IRR and thus it is still not ready to be presented in a public hearing. A public hearing is needed before the IRR can be implemented.

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