Local garment manufacturers in the Philippines hope that the government can stimulate the local apparel and textile industry through taxation, and also call on the government to attract Chinese companies interested in investing to invest and cooperate.
Robert, the president of the Philippine Foreign Buyers Association, said the industry needs government subsidies, especially labor and electricity spending, to reduce the cost of doing business in the country. "Some Chinese companies have already consulted about the cooperation in setting up factories in Feikai." Robert stressed that the Philippines should take advantage of this to attract Chinese companies.
The Federation of Philippine Exporters has also proposed that more tax allowances are needed, and such measures are currently being legalized.
It is understood that the Duterte government is promoting tax reforms to attract higher quality investment opportunities. While reforming tax incentives, we will gradually reduce corporate income tax standards.
Robert said that the benefits of tax incentives in the Philippine labor law should not be removed. Instead, more should be given, similar to the right to subsidies, workforce enhancement, skills training, and so on. "Know that clothing manufacturing is a very labor intensive industry," Robert said.
The apparel and textile industry used to be competitive in the export market and was considered a sunrise industry even in the 1990s. Since the WTO’s cancellation of textile quotas in 2005, the performance of the Philippines’ exports has declined. The country's garment and textile companies have also experienced many difficulties, such as factory closures, downsizing, and large layoffs.
At a press conference in August 2018, William Ang, manager of Globe Textile Industries Corp, complained that the apparel industry rarely received support from the Philippine government. On behalf of the Filipino Apparel Manufacturers Association, the Philippines has many talented designers, but it is easily overlooked and less valued.
Similarly, Robert also stressed that once the Philippine clothing industry recovers, the country can enter more markets, especially the ASEAN market. "Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and even Myanmar, neighboring countries, are now trying to fill the gap, but lack more space to create new products, which is the time for the Philippines to revive the industry," Robert said.