• Accreditation guidelines for garment firms signed

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    THE Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BoI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) signed on July 25 a joint Department Order (DO) on guidelines in the accreditation of garment firms.

    These guidelines would cover garment manufacturers, exporters and subcontractors who would want to avail of preferential tariffs under the generalized system of preferences (GSP). The DO also creates a Workers’ Rights Review Committee.

    “Despite the changing landscape of global trends, the production of goods and services must still conform to international labor standards for market access. This order will help promote labor laws compliance and standards in the garment industry via certification and de-certification mechanisms for companies who want to avail [themselves of]referential tariff under the GSP,” DTI Secretary and BoI Chairman Ramon Lopez said in a statement on Wednesday.

    As part of the country’s commitment to comply with global labor standards for the garments and textile industries, the joint DO is a product of a series of consultative meetings of the two agencies with the Clothing and Textile Industry Tripartite Council and the labor and employment sectors since 2010.

    DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said that, “The signing of the joint guidelines for the garments industry on the certification on labor standards compliance will ensure that our workers have decent jobs and that they enjoy the economic benefits that our participation in the global trade brings.”

    “This joint issuance serves as a proof of the Duterte administration’s resolve to ensure that Filipino workers here and abroad can reap the just fruits of their honest labors even as their employers gain a reasonable return of their investments while ensuring business expansion and growth,” he added.

    Under the joint DO, the BoI will serve as the DTI Accreditation Board (DAB) that will grant Certificates of Accreditation. It is mandatory for manufacturers, exporters and sub-contractors availing themselves of tariffs under the Garments and Textile Import Services and voluntary for all other garment firms.

    The accreditation is valid for three years from issuance but may be suspended or revoked because of failure to comply with minimum labor standards set by the DAB.

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