The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to exclude ordinary chemicals and other chemical substances commonly used for production of goods in the latter’s list of regulated chemicals.
PEZA Spokesperson Elmer San Pascual told reporters that the expansion of the list of regulated chemicals has been affecting the production and exports of companies in PEZA zones.
During the first half of 2015, PNP expanded the list of regulated chemicals. It added 41 chemicals in the list which will require permit for importing, unloading, moving, transporting, and purchasing of such items.
Such move from the PNP aims to regulate illegal possession, manufacture, acquisition of firearms, ammunition or explosives, or instruments used in production of firearms, ammunition or explosives due to threat of terrorism.
However, this also poses additional burden for firms importing chemicals using these substances as raw materials for production of goods because of longer processing of permits from two to three days to five up to 30 days now.
San Pascual noted that some of PEZA-registered firms had production slowdown as they cannot immediately import chemicals which also affect their export revenues.
He added that the PNP regulation has caused exports in PEZA to slide to $36.63 billion as of October 2015 from $36.84 billion over a year ago.
Chemical substances are among the vital raw materials for electronics and semiconductors companies. Majority of firms in PEZA are manufacturers of electronic goods. Chemicals account for 30 percent to 35 percent of PEZA firms’ imports.
Electronics and semiconductors are also accounted for majority or more than 30 percent of the country’s export revenues.
San Pascual said PEZA urged PNP to come up with final “clean and reasonable” list of regulated chemicals before PNP’s grace period for PEZA firms ends this month.