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DTI eyeing higher tariffs to supplement gov’t revenue

The Department of Trade and Industry is considering higher tariffs on certain imported products to add to the government revenue.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the government was still assessing the country’s trade situation and which products could withstand the increase in tariffs.

“This is going to be minimal. It’s just to raise funds and still under study. It’s not for protectionism but to raise some revenues for government,” he said in a telecast Tuesday.

The additional tariff can boost government revenues, which include those generated from the Philippine offshore gaming operators, or POGOs.

The government has been disbursing funds to families and workers whose movement is restricted in areas covered by the enhanced community quarantine order, and those in hard lockdown districts.

The Trade Department, meanwhile, advised mall operators to strictly implement minimum health protocols, including the donning of masks and social distancing in elevators.

“Mall operations is at 20 percent. While we announced that retail can reopen, most of them, at the malls, have not really started to operate yet,” Lopez said.

Mall operators were also advised to keep the temperature in the malls higher to discourage people from loitering around.

“So they (mallers) can just do their thing like run their errands quickly and go back home,” Lopez said.

Business owners were advised to be proactive to keep their labor pool safe and healthy.

Carpooling and shuttle services are being considered as one of the options to transport employees from home to the work site and offices, but employers should provide the support.

Lopez reiterated the department’s offer to provide loans to micro, small and medium enterprises through the SB Corp.

The department has given MSMEs access to a P1-billion loan package at 0.5 monthly interest for enterprises that have been in operation for one year.

The department said it was willing to provide more loans to the small businesses as it works out better rates with other financial sources.

Topics: Department of Trade and Industry , DTI , tariffs , government revenues , Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
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