CAMPI seeks government help to rescue ailing sector
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) has appealed to the government to help its struggling industry, as prospects of vehicle sales remain bleak.

Aside from providing mechanisms to protect high cost of automobile imports, the group is also asking the government to help stakeholders keep their employees as the threat of pandemic brought about dismal sales performance to motor vehicle distributors and assemblers.

CAMPI, through its president Rommel Gutierrez reached out to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and submitted its recommendations for the agency to study.

Among the recommendations is to seriously consider the negative implications of safeguard investigation on CBUs (completely built units).

According to DTI Bureau of Import Services and Strategic Trade Management Office director Luis Catibayan, CAMPI’s recommendation is still under review.

The group is recommending a temporary reduction of duty rates on imported basic raw materials.

Automotive firms were forced to temporarily shut down dealerships and production facilities when the government imposed a lockdown to limit the movement of people and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020.

For the January to July period, combined sales of the CAMPI and the Truck Manufacturers Association fell by 49 percent to 105,583 units from 205,945 units last year.

CAMPI projected an automotive industry sales at 240,000 units this year, a 41.5 percent lower than 2019 total sales volume.

Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country surged, vehicle sales in the local market reached 23,723 units in January this year. This figure was still 12 percent lower from January 2019 sales of 26,888 units due to the Taal Volcano eruption.

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