Comprehensive garment, textile plan sought

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT December 31, 2010, 12:42am MANILA, Philippines ± The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked for a comprehensive plan on how to revive the domestic textile and garments industry while the government is preparing for the refiling of its sponsored bill in the new US Congress in January next year as the lameduck session in the US Congress is about to wrap up with no assurance for the passage of the bill. DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said the industry should come up with a comprehensive plan aside from the ³Save Our Industries Act´ bill, which seeks to revive both the Philippines and the US garments and textile industries. Teresita Agoncillo, executive director of the Confederation of Garment and Textile Exporters of the Philippines (CONGEP), said the industry is working out with the DTI to reassess the industry. Since there is a strong likelihood of the non-passage of the bill during the remaining few days of the lameduck session of the US Congress, Domingo said they are looking for an immediate opportunity by which to refile the bill. The DTI is looking at the third or fourth week of January, next year by which to refile the bill. Domingo expressed confidence of having better chances at getting the bill passed during the regular sessions of the 112th US Congress given enough time to campaign and mount a massive support to ensure the passage of the bill. The industry also said that the passage of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement would give the Save Act bill better chances of getting passed. The Philippines had earlier got the support of some senior senators led by Senator Daniel Innoue and the various Filipino-American groups in the US to push for the passage of the proposed bill during the lameduck session. Congressman and world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao¶s video was also broadcast on social networking sites campaigning for the passage of the bill. The passage of the Save Act is expected to revive the country¶s garment industry that used to export over $3 billion and employ over 600,000 people because exports of garments to the US using American yarns and fabrics would be allowed duty-free access in the US market.

DTI eyes µhigh-end¶ PHL garments exports to China
01/16/2011 | 05:58 PM The government is eyeing a deal with China to get preferential treatment for Philippine garments exports entering the mainland, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Sunday. Lucita Reyes, head of the DTI¶s Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO), told reporters that the upscale Chinese garments market offers local exporters many opportunities. ³We can¶t compete in China¶s low-end garments market because its domestic manufacturers churn out lowcost garments. But there are big prospects in the middle and high-end markets," Reyes said. ³As many Chinese got rich, more became interested in branded items. There¶s also a market for children¶s wear," she said.

SAVE was a US bill aiming to benefit Philippine garments exporters as well as American textile suppliers. because of rising labor cost in China." Reyes said. Recently. especially in the export processing zones. Lucita Reyes. but they have yet to fully tap that vast market. . We also have to determine if [such a deal] would benefit China. but manufacturing takes place in China because of its perceived lower labor cost. said local garments makers are targeting China¶s branded high. determine the distribution channels. ³We want to identify the types of garments we can export to China. including China. Reyes added that the seminar will also help garment exporters know which Chinese provinces to supply. executive director of the Garments and Textile Industry Development Office. however. Reyes said such an agreement may also attract Chinese investors that are into garments and textile production to put up factories in the Philippines. and make the most from the Asean-China free trade agreement. GTIDO will hold a seminar on January 18 for garments and textile manufacturers dubbed ³Doing business for the China market. The USA is the destination of 81 percent of Philippine garments exports." Reyes said. A number of Filipino companies have a significant presence in the China garments market. Reyes said." Officials of the China National Garment Association will present information about the Chinese¶s buying patterns and the high-end garments they purchase. there were a number of China-based apparel manufacturers which slipped back for production in the Philippines. while the rest goes elsewhere. especially in the booming southern coastal region where fashion taste tends to be more sophisticated. ³[But] we have to study China¶s garments tariffs first. because it already has a strong garments industry.Reyes said there is a very small number of Filipino garments makers exporting to China.TV Garments makers shift target from US to China BY IRMA ISIP Garments makers are turning their eyes to China after failing to secure a trade deal with the United States which sought duty-free entry for garments made from US textiles. Reyes said there a few locals exporting to China.and middle-end apparel market since they cannot compete against low-cost producers like Bangladesh and Pakistan in the low-end segment. GMANews. Reyes said the government is mulling over pushing for an agreement with China similar to µSave our Industries¶ or SAVE Act. The designs are made in the Philippines. ² MRT/VS.

account for only 1. 7 companies and two designers are expected to showcase their products. Most of the beneficiaries are Caribbean countries. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was very much optimistic regarding passage of the bill during the lame duck session of the last US Congress. they are now conducting a review. we could adopt the US model by using China-made fabrics. however. After the conference. Rafael Montalvo Jr of the Bureau of Export Trade Promotions. other than the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement for consideration. Reyes informed that. Lawrence de Los Santos. the government would assume a comprehensive approach to ensure passage of the bill intended at revival of the garment firms in the US and also in the Philippines.Implementation of the Asean-China free trade agreement will provide Philippine apparel makers an advantage but the push could be boosted by a preferential tariff system similar to the arrangement being sought with the United States. president of GBAP. Govt to press on passing of US garments billJanuary 17. including Dominican Republic and Haiti. in contrast. Wang Zhuo and Li Zhi of China National Garment. At the conference. To let local manufacturers know more about prospects in China. But she said Philippine garments makers have to gain a deeper knowledge of the distribution system in China. "Depending on the tariffs. The proposed inclusion of the Philippines in the Save Our Industries Act failed to pass in the last US Congress. China has been encouraging small and medium companies to invest in other countries." Reyes said. Under the US Save Our Industries Act. The government is mounting another drive in the new US Congress but officials said they would prefer not to put their eggs in one basket. Speakers include Dr Wei Lin. Executive Director of the Board of Investments and Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO) Lucita P. She said several tiers of suppliers come between exporters and consumers. Margarita de la Rama. China has a good textile industry. the Department of Trade and Industry is hosting a garments and textile industry conference on "Doing Business for the China Market" tomorrow where three officials of the China National Garment Association have been invited to speak. president of the Confederation of Garments Exporters of the Philippine and vice president of the Garments Business Association of the Philippines. The US is still the Philippines¶ biggest market accounting for 81 percent of its total exports annually. Reyes said the conference is a follow-up to a similar gathering attended by officials of the Garment Business Association of the Philippines. and.8 percent of US apparel imports. has a 62 percent of US imports. The Philippines. . Reyes also said tapping China may drive investments in garments and textile in the Philippines since as early as two years ago. Reyes said the Philippines can send a delegation of private companies to meet Chinese importers. but the US legislators concluded the session in December 2010 without taking up any of the trade bills. garments made from US textile enjoy duty-free entry. 2011 (Philippines) With reintroduction of the Save Act bill for the second time in the 112th US Congress during current quarter. China.

it allocated 25 percent of the fund for the same purpose. Senators Daniel Innoue. the Philippines is now reassessing its chances on the passage of the Save the Industries Act during this congress because the US House of Representatives is now lead by the Republican Party.The official stated that. the bill¶s champion. to finance the lobbying for passage of the bill. ³We are reviewing the cost implications. 2011 12:00 AM . together with other BOI officials. will be hosting a Chinese garments delegation on Tuesday to explore the possibility of exporting our garments to China. 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) MANILA. View previous articles from this author | Subscribe to this author via RSS Phl may lose $5-M potential investment if US Congress rejects Save Act By Ma. She said that they are now in the process of encouragingsmall companies to invest in textile in order to boost the industry. He said that all these activities involve a cost and that is the reason why the assessment is necessary.´ Reyes said. yarns and fabrics to manufacture garments which would then be shipped to the US without any duty imposition. The government intends to invest a part of the Garments and Textile Exports Board¶s fund worth P600 million. which has won support of 15 Senate members. ³We are trying to develop other markets for our garments and we are looking at crafting a Chinese version of the Save Act in order to push for a mutually beneficial relationship between China and the Philippines.´ With regards to the cost of lobbying the passage of the bill before the US Congress and the Senate. Meanwhile. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated January 17. Representatives of the BOI has been travelling to Washington for the past two years in order to gain support for the bill. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated January 18. the DTI is still left to deliberate on the extent of the activities to be carried out. Philippines . Reyes refused to say how much they have already spent on the Save Act. Jim McDermott and Kit Bond primarily authored the bill. Elisa P.´ Reyes said. ³We want to use Chinese textile and produce the garments here but it all depends on the tariff of China.The Board of Investments (BOI) is now looking at developing China as a possible destination for the Philippines¶ medium and high end garments. The bill proposes that once it is passed. Philippines would be using US textiles. high-end garments By Ma. BOI eyes China as mart for medium. Harry Reid. ³The Chinese are interested in branded products and that could be our niche because we cannot compete with them in terms of mass production but we can sell high end products to them. supporters of the bill and also regarding the mapping operations of the domestic industry. ³We are making an assessment of the chances that it will be passed during the 112th Congress. Reyes.´ BOI executive director Lucita P.´ Reyes said. Reyes said in an interview. Reyes said that they have to evaluate whether it is still viable. Elisa P. As the DTI last time lobbied for passage of the bill.

³There is no real point in putting up a denim facility if the Save Act is not passed.´ Helfenbein explained that once the Save Act is in place.´ he said. ³We will be making some technical adjustments. At the same time.The Philippines may lose $5 million worth of investment for a denim facility if the US Congress decides to nix the Save the Industries Act. The denim facility was promised to President Aquino by Luenthai. he said that they will be removing the clause allowing for the importation of US yarn to the Philippines to be made into fabric that will be re-exported back to the US. BY JESSICA ANNE D. the government has already spent P60 million in the past two years mostly for the lobby of the bill and is expected to spend more as the bill will be refiled during the 112th Congress.000 pairs of denim per week and 600. he said that a short supply clause will be added to the bill because it may be that the supply of textile is lower than the demand. In a press conference. At the same conference. he said they will simply abandon the project and not move it to another location. it is 10 percent cheaper to produce in the Philippines using US textile than producing it in China using Chinese made fabrics. If the Save Act is not passed.´ he stressed. At the same time. ³Definitely we will re-file the bill and we will provide the necessary support.´ he said. Senior Reporter Concessions seen needed in new proposed US garment bill . He noted that there are four major denim mills in the US which needs a market. Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Cristino L. stressed that the denim facility is only for the Philippines.000 pairs monthly. Helfenbein refused to elaborate on what changes will be made.´ he said. however. Helfenbein said that they will be making minor revisions to the bill in order to address some of the concerns of both the US and the Philippine players. Philippines . On the re-filing of the Save Act bill. ³The plan of Luenthai is to triple the population in the Philippines in three years but the denim is really contingent on the Save Act. Luenthai US president Rick Helfenbein said that they will only invest $5 million for a denim facility in the Philippines once the Save Act is passed. Panlilio said that they are willing to spend the P450 million left in the GTEB fund for the passage of the bill. This medium sized facility will be able to produce 150.MANILA. HERMOSA. ³The US textile needs new markets to sell products.´ For instance. Helfenbein. The proposed denim facility will provide 2.000 new jobs. ³We will delete three to four items that don¶t affect the greater good.

Ready for another round "We will definitely refile [sic] the bill. Mr. Helfenbein." Trade Undersecretary Cristino L. The trade incentive granted to the Philippines should also lure $480 million worth of investments for factories in the first two years of the law¶s implementation. Trade high on the agenda "It is very clear that trade is on the agenda of the 112th Congress. The proposed "Save our Industries Act. president of the Luen Thai¶s American unit TellaS Ltd. however. Competitive This scheme was supposed to result in competitively priced apparel that are a tenth cheaper than those produced by China-based manufacturers using Chinese textiles. noting that the state agency still has some P450 million to spend from the fund of the now-defunct Garment and Textiles Export Board. Mr. according to estimates from the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines (CONGEP). said it has shelved plans to put up a $5-million jean factory in the country. This should pacify American textile groups that had raised objections. government and private sector officials yesterday said. . Helfenbein said. There were also provisions that would have reduced import duties on Philippine garments that use textiles woven from US yarns. Panlilio said in the same briefing." he said. referring to provisions that would reduce tariffs for Philippine garment exports even if these do not use American textiles but at least those cloth woven from US yarn.5 billion since 2006.1 billion to annual export sales which have currently stagnated at $2 billion-$2.. A new provision could also be added that will allow Philippine garment makers to source textiles outside the US in case there is a shortage of these raw materials. garment giant Luen Thai Holdings. Inc. will have to start from scratch after the legislature¶s term ended last December. CONGEP had said." he said.THE PHILIPPINES has to accept the fact that its benefits under a proposed trade scheme favoring its garment exports to the US will have to be cut if the measure is to have a better chance of getting approved by the new Congress there. "We will probably delete three to four items. Backers of pending bills in the 111th US Congress. told reporters in a press conference yesterday. would have allowed Philippine-made garment exports to enter the US duty-free as long as these used American textiles. Helfenbein said. But in the meantime." first filed in Washington in 2009." said Mr. Rick Helfenbein. µMore palatable¶ proposal "But there are some technical things in the bill [that will be changed] to make it more palatable. The position of the government is we will certainly provide the necessary support. The bill is expected to add $1. after the previous US Congress failed to pass the preferential program before its term ended last month.

The bill was not ratified during the 111th Congress. Otherwise.000 pairs of jeans a week. According to Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio. the American subsidiary of end-to-end apparel maker Luen Thai Holdings Ltd. noting that rising wage costs in China has prodded multinationals to considering other manufacturing sites." he said. which is backing the lobbying effort. but only if the United States Congress passes the Save Act bill. Timing crucial "Timing is crucial.´ The Save Act is expected to provide enough incentives for garments exporters in the Philippines to expand their operations by granting them preferential treatment from the US. Coach and Adidas. PH garments manufacturers to benefit from US bill First Posted 20:25:00 01/17/2011 By Abigail L. Philippines -. has facilities here that make garments and bags for high-end brands like Ralph Lauren. we¶re only looking at the Philippines. Luen Thai¶s plans to add a jean factory in the Philippines will have to stay on the back burner." Mr. Mr. the Save Act also had a companion bill in the Senate filed by Senators Kit Bond and Daniel Inouye. If not. which gave various benefits to US trading partners that produced garments out of US-made fabric or yarn. there¶s no point in putting up the denim facility. "Unless we get the bill. known as the Save Our Industries Act (Save Act).´ Helfenbein said. you can¶t do that. he said. In a briefing on Monday. Introduced in June 2009 by Washington State Representative Jim McDermott and California Representative Brian Bilbray. A sewing plant you can just move anywhere. he said. ³The number of markets to which we can send the output of our mills has been decreasing. The bill supports the country¶s inclusion in the 809 Program. Ho Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA. Luen Thai would have hired 2. local garments manufacturers are looking forward to having the bill refiled in the US Congress. Also."We believe the opportunity is ripe. Helfenbein said. the group was not looking at any other location for the jeans factory but the Philippines. To make the US bill more ³palatable´ to stakeholders and to ensure that it would be passed this time around.. in the 112th Congress. .000 workers for the planned jean factory to produce 150.Philippine trade officials are now enjoying the full support of local and foreign garment manufacturers in their effort to push for the passage of a United States bill. That¶s why US textile mills are just trying to hold on. Dillards. Helfenbein added. Helfenbein said some provisions would be removed and some fine-tuned. is keen on investing $5 million in the Philippines. Tellas president Rick Helfenbein said the company was looking at shipping textile from its denim mills in the US to the Philippines for sewing into jeans." Luen Thai. but only if the Save Act passes. At this point. we just won¶t go into the pants business anymore.. ³Right now. but with textile mills. Tellas Ltd.

´ Board of Investments executive director and Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO) Lucita P." Through a memorandum of understanding. and fabrics. Philippines ± The government will adopt a comprehensive approach once the Save Act bill is refiled for the second time this first quarter to ensure the passage of the measure. with benefits ranging from lower duties to quota-free and duty-free entry into the US. GMANews." Panlilio said. Some garment makers in Central and South America already enjoy preferential treatment.He said the component stating that US-made yarn spun in the Philippines could be re-exported to the US at reduced duties would be scrapped. Seventeen lines that would use US fabric were proposed to enter the US duty-free. ³We¶re making an assessment. the better. Luen Thai. Luen Thai USA president. told a press conference. a garments company based in America. yarns. ³The sooner it gets passed. ³Unless we can get this bill moving.TV DTI hopeful on refiling of US garments bill January 13." The number of categories to enjoy duty-free entry to the US regardless of the fabric¶s source will also be trimmed down.000 jobs in the Philippines. 2:30am MANILA." Rick Helfenbein. until the US approves a bill granting special treatment to Philippine apparel. The company has made good on two commitments: the expansion of Luen Thai¶s Clark facility in Pampanga and its new Coach bag production investment. which will waive or reduce the duty imposed on Philippine garments that use American textile. US-made fabrics and yarns cut and wholly assembled in the Philippines would qualify to re-enter the US duty-free. Garments exporter Luen Thai puts PHL investment on hold 01/18/2011 | 12:25 AM A garments exporter will put on hold its $5-million commitment to produce 150. in response to the opposition of some American trade groups who tagged it as ³unfair competition. Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio on Monday said a leaner version of the SAVE Act will be refiled in the 112th US Congress. there¶s no point investing in a denim facility. Asia. which seeks to revive both the US and Philippine garments and textile industries. Reyes told reporters. Luen Thai committed three projects in the Philippines during the visit of President Benigno Aquino III to the US last year. in the 112th US Congress. Under the 809 component. Another change would provide for allowing Philippine exporters to source from non-American supplier if the US fabric runs short. . To be deleted in the new version is the component seeking reduced tariff on Philippine garments made of US yarn. This was due to opposition from some parties in the US. ³We would lean towards more lines using US fabric than third-party fabric. and Europe. will put the investment on the backburner until the US Congress passes the Save our Industries or SAVE Act.000 pairs of Ralph Lauren jeans a week and generate 2. 2011. ² With Paterno Esmaquel II/VS.

The DTI had earmarked 25 percent of the fund during last year¶s efforts to lobby for the passage of the bill. It also gained support from 15 representatives.´ Reyes said. the sponsors and the bill¶s champion. The Chief Executive also called on the fabric producers. Reyes noted that the move to tap the Filipino-American communities for the bill¶s support was only done in October last year and the viral marketing featuring world¶s boxing icon Rep. woven or knitted and finished in the Philippines for use of office uniforms and government officials and employees and for other purposes. Ambassador Jose Cuisia and Congressman Pacquiao has promised his full support. 24. (BCM) Aquino declares January 24 Philippine Tropical Fabrics DayJanuary 13. including the private sectors. textile manufacturers and garment industries. He said as the use of Philippine tropical fabrics unfolds overtime. the Philippines will produce garments using American textile. including a mapping operation of the local industry. Reyes further said the industry is undertaking a mapping operation to come up with a comprehensive strategy for this domestic sector. except for the passage of the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. the DTI has to discuss yet the extent of activities that must be undertaken.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had high hopes to pass the proposed Save Act bill during the lameduck session of the last US Congress. The President designated the Philippine Textile Research Institute and the Department of Science and Technology to ensure and plan out activities during the observance of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day. Proclamation No. According to the President. The finished product would then be exported to the US duty-free. but American legislators ended their session in December last year without touching any trade bills. The Save Act bill was principally authored by Senators Jim McDermott. Kit Bond and Harry Reid. Aquino III has declared Jan.³All these entail cost. there will be a growing awareness and sense of pride among Filipinos to patronize and use locally-manufactured textiles. so we have to do an assessment. defines tropical fabrics as those containing natural fibers produced. Daniel Innoue.´ Reyes said. Aquino signed December 21 last year. According to Reyes. 2011 as ³Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day´ to instill patriotism and nationalism among Filipinos. The government is spending a part of the P600 million fund of the Garments and Textile Exports Board to bankroll a lobby.S. ³We need to sustain the interest in the bill and intensify our outreach program. We should tap our new U. spun. Manny Pacquiao were a little late already to generate a strong impact. promote the preferential use of locally-manufactured goods using local resources and adopt measures that will help generate wider employment of local fabrics. banana. Under the Save Act bill. yarns and fabrics. . both of which shall redound to creation of livelihood in the agricultural and industrial sectors. 4:44am MANILA (PNA) -. abaca and Philippine silk on the one hand and the revival and upliftment of the local textile and garments industry on the other. 86 which Pres. the implementation of Republic Act 9242 provides the needed push for the judicious utilization of natural fibers like pineapple.President Benigno S. 2011. associations and institutions to actively participate in the proper observance of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day and to give their full support in the local production and use of local tropical fabrics and recognition of their importance in manpower capability-building.

Elisa P. Panlilio said that for a while. 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0) MANILA. However. Confederation of Garments Exporters of the Philippines (CONGEP) Executive director Maritess Agoncillo told reporters that the industry is already pulling out their support for the Save Act. the senator refused to meet with Filipino representatives. The House of Representatives will now be under the control of the Republican Party. However. failed to pass the US Congress.000 workers but was whittled down to 150. BOI managing head Cristino L. during its peak.000 as cheaper garments are being manufactured from neighboring countries Prominent Filipinos like Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao has already thrown their support for the Save Act. some industries are already calling for an audit of the funds being spent on the lobbying for the bill. BOI Executive Director Lucita P. may reenter the United States at 50 percent of the most favored nation (MFN) duty. Unfortunately during the lame duck session.The Save the Industries Act. . In addition. Bilbray in June 2009 which had a total of 10 sponsors. Philippines . A companion bill S. The Philippine garments export industry. in an interview a few days later. the bill that was supposed to save the ailing garments industry of the country. US made fabrics and yarns cut and wholly assembled in the Philippines would qualify to reenter the United States free of duty. The new session of the US Congress is set to begin in January. Under the 809 component of the program. the Board of Investments (BOI) said yesterday. US Senator Daniel Inouye nearly withdrew his support to the Save Act after he learned that a small group of Filipino World War II veterans decided to take the US government to court. 3170 was introduced by Senators Kit Bond and Daniel Inouye. The Save Act bill was introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott and Congressman Brian P. during the time when the senator was threatening to pull out his support. An insider who spoke under the condition of anonymity called for an audit of the Garments and Textile Development Board (GTDO). The GTDO is funded by the BOI. Reyes said that they will simply re-file the bill. garments made of US spun yarn or extruded yarn formed in the Philippines. employed around 600. Agoncillo retracted her statement and said they are still looking forward to the signing of the Save Act. The GTDO has P600 million and the insider said it is important to find out how much is left.Save Act fails to pass US Congress By Ma. Agoncillo made the statement outside the office of Panlilio. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated December 31. In fact.

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