By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is encouraging export firms that manufacture medicines, supplies and equipment to set aside 80 percent of daily production for domestic use.
The latest government appeal is contained in the resolution issued by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Wednesday. The move seeks to boost the country’s supply of medicines and health equipment to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall be responsible for implementing this resolution, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said during a Palace press briefing.
The IATF has recommended to President Duterte the suspension of the export requirements imposed under different relevant laws. “Local sales shall be deemed and treated as export sales for availment of duties and taxes, exemptions and other incentives,” the resolution read.
“The IATF endorses the recommendation of the DTI in allowing the full operation of those engaged in the manufacture of medicines, medical supplies, devices, and equipment, including but not limited to suppliers of inputs, packaging, and distribution, to address the country’s clear and present need for medical supplies and equipment,” Nograles said.
President Duterte signed yesterday Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that gives him more powers to effectively deal with the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Among the powers of the President are: to ensure availability of essential goods particularly food and medicines; undertake expeditious procurement of personal protective equipment, medical supplies, testing kits as well as goods and services for social amelioration measures; and liberalize the grant of incentives for the manufacture of importation of critical or needed equipment or supplies.