Biz Memos

British Chamber pushes for Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, lauds appointment of Recto as DOF Secretary

British Chamber pushes for Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, lauds appointment of Recto as DOF Secretary

BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson reiterates support for the passage of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, one of the key priority legislation under the Marcos administration. Meanwhile, the British Chamber also supports the newly appointed Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Ralph G. Recto, and acknowledges the official’s expertise in strategizing an increase in investments.

The push for the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act is also one of the key priorities of the British Chamber to promote a resilient agricultural economy to protect against smugglers, hoarders, and profiteers to safeguard the consumers on unreasonable prices in the market. In line with this advocacy, the extension of the lowered tariffs for agricultural commodities including pork was signed on Dec. 22, 2023 and is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2024; the call for its extension is due to its role in easing inflation and ensuring a secure supply chain, with the present challenge of El Niño.

The British Chamber has consistently partnered with the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) through trade missions, market visits, and briefings in the previous years and has linked British exporters to their Philippine counterparts. The outlook remains optimistic with DOF Secretary Recto’s commitment in employing his key strategies in inflation through consumer protection and amendments to economic legislation to further boost investor confidence in the Philippines.

Nelson added in a statement: “We’re very optimistic that one of his key tasks that are already outlined is boosting revenue. In that context, we’re looking for improvements in tax efficiency and collections. Specifically, what we would like to see pass quite soon is the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act which would be a great help in further opening up the economy and boosting foreign investments.”

The British Chamber looks forward to how the RA 11976 or the Ease of Paying Taxes Act will be further emphasized and welcomes initiatives on enhancing the tax system in the country as a key to making the Philippines an investment destination in the region.

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