The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR) on 1 August 2017 at One Global Place, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Present during the launch were representatives from Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), among others. The private sector, select importers and partner agencies were also represented during the event.
Gracing the event were DTI- Industry Development and Trade Policy Group (IDTPG) Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, DTI-Trade and Investments Promotion Group (TIPG) Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, United States Agency for International Development- Trade Related Assistance for Development (USAID-TRADE) Chief of Party Cielito F. Habito, European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines Trade Affairs Officer Rose Ann A. Pamittan and World Bank-International Finance Corporation (WB-IFC) Head Terrence Chapman.
PNTR, accessible through http://pntr.gov.ph, is an online portal containing consolidated comprehensive, accurate and up-to- date information on trade-related matters. This trade facilitation initiative was developed through DTI’s partnership with the said TRGAs, WB-IFC, USAID, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Integration Supported by the European Union (EU-ARISE) and the Canadian government.
“The PNTR will benefit our country’s entrepreneurs since it consolidates regulations and procedures administered by different government agencies in just one portal. It makes the regulations transparent and contributes to the ease of doing business in the country,”Rodolfo stressed.
PNTR aims to provide a more transparent business environment by providing easy access to timely trade information, thus reducing time and costs in trade transactions. “They say, knowledge is power. And that’s what PNTR gives. It provides knowledge to those who need it the most, in this case, trade information to entrepreneurs,” said USAID TRADE Chief of Party Cielito F. Habito.
WB-IFC Operations Officer Roberto Martin N. Galang gave an overview of the portal, particularly the sections on tariff nomenclature, Most-Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs and Rules of Origin (ROO) or the criteria used to determine the national source of a certain commodity. He noted that some of the sections of the site are still under development and TRGAs need to update their respective information should there be any changes.
The launch highlighted the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DTI and the Philippine Tariff Commission (TC), represented by Bureau of Import Services (BIS) Director Luis M. Catibayan and TC Chairperson Marilou P. Mendoza, respectively. The MOA aims to ensure timely sharing of information, such as updates on tariff schedules and changes in documentary requirements, between the two agencies for an updated and accurate PNTR.
BIS heads an inter-agency AdHoc Technical Working Group on PNTR (TWG-PNTR) under the Committee on ASEAN Economic Community (CAEC), which was created in 2015, with 53 TRGAs and Trade Policy Related Agencies as members.
PNTR was initially launched last 31 October 2015 to introduce stakeholders to the concept of a trade repository. Its establishment is a commitment of the Philippines to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) which mandates all member states to build their respective trade repositories to be linked to the ASEAN Trade Repository, accessible through http://atr.asean.org. It likewise complies with World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation (WTO-ATF)) on publishing and providing readily-available information on imports and exports across the globe.