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DTI eyes minimal tariffs on imports to raise revenues

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry is studying the possibility of raising tariffs on some imported products to help shore up government revenue following the huge expenses incurred in the fight against COVID-19.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a television that this agency is looking into the implementation of minimal tariffs on imports.

Lopez said such move should not be construed as an act of trade protectionism on the part of the government but rather to help the government raise some revenues. Thus, he said, the imposition of tariffs on imported products should cover all imports to avoid “protectionism angle.”

It could be recalled that even before the COVID, the DTI had already announced plans to impose tariffs on imported motor vehicle on efforts to revive the domestic automotive manufacturing. The DTI has also filed before the World Trade Organization on the imposition of higher tariffs on imported cars from Thailand in retaliation of Thai government’s refusal to comply with the multilateral trade body to align discriminatory tariffs on Philippine tobacco with the local tariff.

Meantime, Lopez reported that supply and prices of face masks and sanitizer products have stabilized already. He said he has visited drugstores, which asked him to unbundle the volume limit of 5 pieces per person as stipulated under a memorandum circular.

Drugstores would like to raise the volume limit 10 pieces per pack per person as supplies have stabilized and prices going down.

On food supply, Lopez said food manufacturers are now operating as much as 90 percent of capacity with an average supply good for 2 weeks and raw materials good for 45 days.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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