MANILA: The Philippines has fully implemented an initiative under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Vladivostok Declaration ahead of its deadline.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo told the Philippines News Agency that the country has delivered its commitment of reducing tariff on 54 environmental goods to 5.0 percent or less by end of 2015 after President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Executive Order (EO) No. 185 in June.
“After it undergone public hearing and consultation, the EO was signed and we reduced tariff of 54 environmental goods to 5.0 percent. We’re fully compliant on that goal,” Rodolfo said.
As part of the APEC Leaders’ Declaration during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia in 2012, this initiative aims to increase trade in environmental goods by helping APEC businesses and citizens to access environmental technologies at lower cost.
In return, this commitment of APEC leaders will push for green growth objectives, addressing climate change and securing sustainable economic development.
Most of these environmental goods with 5.0 percent tariff are condensers for steam or other vapour power units, waste incinerators, and filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for liquids or gas, among others.
The official also said that the country’s solar panel exports will be one of the beneficiaries of this APEC initiative.
In fact, California-based SunPower Corp. invested PhP 9.0 billion here in 2014 for the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Batangas. SunPower’s solar cell products are for exports.
“We’ve been benefitting from this APEC initiative. Export of solar panels is one of our interests. We’ve seen increase in exports (of solar panels),” Rodolfo added.
Moreover, cutting tariff rates on environmental goods is one of the forum’s action to achieve free and open trade and investments among 21 APEC member economies.
The Philippines is the APEC host for this year with concluding events happening next week.