Newly-enacted Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2 (B2), mandated the government to adopt measures that will facilitate and improve supply chain movement and minimize disruptions to ease the flow of essential goods, particularly food and medicine.
Aside from improving the national end-to-end supply chain, Republic Act (RA) 11494, calls for measures that will reduce logistics costs “to the maximum extent possible,” especially for basic commodities, according to the Pilippine Exporters Confederation Inc.
Relatedly, RA 11494 stated that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) may suspend requirements for export enterprises that produce critical goods and require them to provide local supply.
These were among the response and recovery interventions under RA 11494, as the new law, which will be in effect until 19 December 2020, seeks to fast-track recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic fallout.
Bayanihan 2 effectively extends the validity of the government’s COVID-19 programs and interventions under Bayanihan 1, the validity of which lapsed last June.
To carry out interventions, the new law provides for a P165.5 billion subsidy consisting of P140 billion in regular appropriations and P25.5 billion in standby funding.
RA 11494 also liberalizes incentives for the manufacture or importation of critical equipment and supplies, as well as essential goods and healthcare equipment and supplies, needed to carry out policies under the new law.
Exemption from import duties, taxes and other fees for the manufacture or importation of critical equipment and essential goods will be determined by the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue. Importation of health and medical equipment and supplies were also exempt from duties, taxes, and fees under RA 11469.
Priority is stable prices
RA 11494, however, provides for the sale, distribution and trade of critical equipment and essential goods or supplies to prevent the shortage of supply and ensure prices are stable.
Essential goods include commodities referred to in section 4 (u) (l) of RA 11494 such as equipment for waste management that are approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health or other concerned regulatory agencies and inputs, raw materials, and equipment necessary for the manufacture or production of essential goods related to the containment or mitigation of COVID-19.
To qualify for the exemption from import duties, taxes and other fees, as well as to ensure the supply of personal protective equipment at competitive prices, DTI should certify that the equipment and supplies being imported are not locally available or of insufficient quality and preference.
Preference is given to product, materials, and supplies produced, made or manufactured in the Philippines.
Exemption from import duties and taxes, including donor’s tax, will also be granted for personal computers, laptops, tablets, or similar equipment for use in schools, donated for distribution to public schools regardless of level, including state universities and colleges and vocational institutions under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.