Author Topic: US: Corruption in Philippines remains among barriers to trade  (Read 1455 times)


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US: Corruption in Philippines remains among barriers to trade
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 2, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — Corruption continues to be a major headache for the United States when it comes to doing trade with the Philippines, a new report by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) shows.

In its 2018 National Trade Estimate Report of Foreign Trade Barriers, the USTR said corruption remains a “pervasive” issue in the Philippines, which the US intends to continue urging the country to address.

“National and local government agencies, particularly Bureau of Customs, are beset with various corruption issues,” the US agency said.

Similar to its 2017 report, the USTR again highlighted the concern expressed by both foreign and domestic investors about “the propensity of Philippine courts and regulators to stray beyond matters of legal interpretation into policymaking, as well as the lack of transparency in judicial and regulatory processes.”

“Investors have also raised concerns about courts being influenced by bribery and improperly issuing temporary restraining orders to impede legitimate commerce,” the USTR said.

“Reports of corruption and irregularities in customs processing persist, including undue and costly delays, irregularities in the valuation process, 100-percent inspection and testing of some products, and customs officials seeking the payment of unrecorded facilitation fees,” the agency added.

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But the USTR recognized the government’s efforts through Memorandum Order No. 16 issued by President Duterte in November 2017 directing the National Economic and Development Authority and member agencies to “take immediate steps to lift or ease existing restrictions on foreign participation” in certain investment areas, including certain professional services, construction, retail trade enterprises and domestic market enterprises.

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« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 06:35:33 AM by adroth »