Campi marks 20 years of growth, success

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The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) celebrated its 20 years of growth and success in industry sales at the Makati Shangri-La on May 14.

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Together with its members and officials, and some guests, Campi looked back at its achievements including the republic acts, executive orders and customs memorandum orders it supported for the past 20 years, and not setting aside its increasing sales target for each year.

For the first four months of this year, Campi achieved a 21-percent year-on-year sales increase, or 84,141 units sold compared to the 69,747 units sold during the same period last year. Meanwhile, a higher 30-percent increase in sales was recorded during 2013 to 2014, or 234,747 units sold from the 181,283 units recorded during the previous period.

“As Campi enters its 20th year, it projected a stronger Philippine automotive market with sales to beat another record of 300,000 units,” said CAMPI Vice President Dante Santos in his speech.

The Milestones
Campi was established in 1995 as encouraged by the Board of Investments with the initiative of founding president Jose Alvarez. Eleven members were put together to form an association with Peter Garrucho becoming its first president.

In 1998, Vicente Mills became its second president. During his term, Campi participated in implementing Republic Act (RA) 8506, or the law banning right-hand drive vehicles in any private or public street. In 1999, Campi took part in formulating RA 8749, also known as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, and the Seat Belts Use Act of 1999 or RA 8750.

Campi also contributed in drafting Executive Order 156 or the new motor vehicle development program in 2002, with a goal of promoting vehicle assembly and the use of local parts, promote exports, promote efficiency in the domestic vehicle industry, increase value added, create jobs and transfer technology when the Philippines may be considered a regional hub for specific motor vehicle production in the Southeast Asian region.

In 2004, Campi participated in the formulation of RA 9224 or the Rationalization of Excise Tax on Automobiles, under the term of Alvarez as its third president.

Under Elizabeth Lee, the first and the only woman president of the organization, and its fourth leader, Campi in 2005 supported Customs Memorandum Orders 16-2005 that bans the entry of imported right-hand drive vehicles into the country. In 2005, RA 9367, also known as the bio-fuels law, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, was also supported by Campi.

In 2007, Campi held its first Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), bringing together automotive manufacturers, assemblers, importers and suppliers for a major event that is always anticipated by car enthusiasts from all walks of life. In the same year, Executive Order 156, which prohibits the importation of used vehicles, was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

In 2008, the second PIMS was held and was inaugurated by then president and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga.

The next year, Campi initiated the review of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement. Campi’s position was to defer tariff elimination for motor vehicles and parts and components up to the maximum allowable period, to allow the industry to fully prepare and adjust before full liberalization.

CATS Motors Inc. (Mercedes Benz) and Focus Ventures Inc. (Chana, FAW) also became new members of Campi.

In 2010, the 3rd PIMS was staged. And in 2011, Campi joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations automotive product group discussions in preparation for the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

The year 2012 saw Rommel Gutierrez, vice president of Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation, becoming the fifth and current president of Campi. The highlight of that year was the staging of the 4th PIMS that supported the tourism slogan “It’s More Fun” to also showcase the country as a fun-filled and safe travel destination. The industry sold 156,600 units that was topped by 2013 sales of 181,200 units.

In 2014, the 5th PIMS was staged that attracted the most number of visitors or more than 90,000. Also, Campi supported RA 10642 or the Philippine Lemon Law in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry for its implementation and drafting.

“In the next 20 years, I hope this industry will grow 600,000 or more,” said Alvarez, chairman emeritus of Campi.

“In order to bring us to 20 years more, and 600,000 or more auto sales, President [Benigno] Aquino’s term is ending [and]we need somebody there, we need somebody to continue the legacy of growth and progress,” he added.       Jemaima Rae C. Porter

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