Philippines govt issues guidelines for garment firms

29 Jul '17
3 min read
Courtesy: Philippine Information Agency
Courtesy: Philippine Information Agency

The Department of Trade & Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) and the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) in Philippines recently signed a Joint Department Order (DO) providing for the guidelines for the issuance, suspension or revocation of certificates of accreditation for garments firms. The DO also creates a Workers’ Rights Review committee.

The accreditation certificate guidelines would cover garment manufacturers, exporters, and subcontractors who would want to avail of preferential tariffs under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

DTI secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez and DOLE secretary Silvestre H Bello III signed the Joint DO during the DTI-DOLE Directors’ Joint Assembly for Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TMK) at the Philippine Trade Training Centre (PTTC) in Pasay City.

As part of the country’s commitment on complying with global labour standards for the garments and textile industries, the joint DO is a product of a series of consultative meetings of the two agencies with the Clothing and Textile Industry Tripartite Council (CTITC), and labour and employment sectors since 2010.

“Despite the changing landscape of global trends, the production of goods and services must still conform to international labour standards for market access. This order will help promote labour laws compliance and standards in the garment industry via certification and decertification mechanisms for companies who want to avail preferential tariff under the GSP,” said Lopez.

“The signing of the joint guidelines for the garments industry on the certification on labour standards compliance will ensure that are our workers have decent jobs, and that they enjoy the economic benefits that our participation in the global trade brings,” said Bello.

“This joint issuance serves as a proof of the Duterte administration’s resolve to ensure that Filipino workers here and abroad can reap the just fruits of their honest labours even as their employers gain a reasonable return of their investments while ensuring business expansion and growth,” added Bello.

Under the Joint DO, the BOI will serve as the DTI Accreditation Board (DAB) that will grant Certificates of Accreditation mandatory for manufacturers, exporters and subcontractors availing tariffs under the Garments and Textile Import Services (GTIS) and voluntary for all other garment firms. The accreditation is mandatory for those availing of privileges under the GSP and voluntary for all other garment firms. The accreditation is valid for three years from issuance, but may be suspended or revoked due to failure to comply with the labour minimum standards set by the DAB.

BOI serves as the DAB as the import-related functions of the former Garments and Textile Import Services (GTIS)—including accreditation of importers—were transferred to the agency through DTI Department Administrative Order No. 10-06, Series of 2010.

In addition, the Workers’ Rights Review Committee—composed of four members representing DTI, DOLE, the labour sector and the employers sector—will conduct an audit of the applicant’s compliance with labour standards as provided under Section 8.1 of the Joint DO. Its audit findings and recommendations will be submitted to DAB for review and evaluation.

The joint DO serves as the pilot guideline on the GSP availment and when deemed successful, the DTI and DOLE will come up with similar guidelines for other sectors and industries. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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