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The DTI’s request to the future administration includes no rollback of policy improvements.

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has chosen ten priority programs for the agency’s next leader, with non-reversal of existing policy direction and continuation of the Duterte administration’s economic reforms at the top of the list.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a Viber message to trade media on Thursday that these measures will help the incoming administration continue President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic recovery efforts.

He claimed that these policies were responsible for the Philippines’ 8.3 percent GDP growth in the first quarter of 2022.

According to Lopez, the DTI wants the next administration to achieve full economic recovery by continuing to roll out the immunization program so that all areas are placed on Alert Level 1 and classrooms may resume face-to-face instruction.

The new DTI secretary should also increase funding for programs aimed at modernizing and improving the productivity of local production facilities, particularly for micro, small, and medium businesses (MSMEs).

The DTI also included policies and programs for innovation, such as the creation of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs) and a Center for AI Research, as well as e-commerce and financial technology, the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem, and a focus on creative industries, in its priority list.

Lopez believes the agency should continue measures to make doing business easier and explore simplification and digitization of government transactions and processes under the new administration.

Consumer protections should be pursued as well, according to him, bypassing the Internet Transaction Act and allocating funds for standards and testing equipment.

“An intelligence fund is required to strengthen the campaign against smugglers, profiteers, hoarders, and e-commerce scammers,” Lopez said, adding that the DTI’s partnership with the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in anti-smuggler and anti-scammer operations should be strengthened.

These programs, according to Lopez, will be explored with the incoming DTI director.

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