The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Finance push for greater support in the manufacture and importation of essential products during the Enhanced Community Quarantine by granting incentives through the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-02, series of 2020 issued on April 1.
Under Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” DTI and DOF are authorized to liberalize the grant of incentives for the manufacture and importation of critical equipment or supplies.
The two agencies said they would ensure the availability of essential goods and require businesses to prioritize contracts, subject to fair and reasonable terms, for materials and services needed by the government in its campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The importation of these goods will be exempt from import duties, taxes and other fees.
“We need to ensure that the disruptions in the supply chain are minimized, as well as give enterprises a reprieve from commonly imposed taxes,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“We will help our manufacturers, especially those partnering with medical institutions and hospitals, procure or produce these essential goods at reduced costs by providing them with tax breaks during this global health crisis,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Dominguez said this is the least the Duterte administration could do to help healthcare frontliners win the battle against Covid-19 by ensuring their access to personal protective equipment and other necessities.
Lopez said this was also the government's way of showing gratitude for the cooperation of enterprises despite the restricted movement and conditions imposed during the quarantine period.
The JMC covers the production and manufacture of medicines identified critical by the Department of Health, medical equipment and devices, personal protective equipment, surgical equipment and supplies, laboratory equipment and its reagents.
The JMC covers raw materials and packaging materials exclusively used for the production of those products.
Among the provisions of the RA 11469 is for the government to collaborate with the private sector and other stakeholders to deliver these measures and programs quickly and efficiently.
Dominguez assured that the Bureau of Customs would assist in the timely release of the imports of raw materials, packaging, and articles required in the supply chain of production.
“We urge our partners in the private sector for their continued understanding on the importance of the unimpeded production and importation of these essential products," said Lopez.
The JMC will remain in effect during the effectivity of RA 11469.