MANILA, Philippines — The Confederation of Philippine Jewelers Inc. (CPJI) has submitted to the government a menu of policy proposals designed to help “legitimize” the local jewelry industry.
The proposals include revising the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Law No. 8502 or the Jewelry Industry Development Law to simplify accreditation; simplify export and import policies and regulations and increase accessibility to gold and silver, said PCIJ President Mia M. Florencio.
During the jewelry industry roadmap presentation yesterday, Florencio said these initiatives will not only fully legitimize the local industry, but also convert small businesses into world-class players.
She said it would also help create more employment opportunities for less educated and out-of-school youth.
Florencio admitted that a number of the country’s jewelers were engaged in underground activity because they considered the government’s fiscal policy “too restrictive”.
Then there are those who have resorted to smuggling and false declaration of goods.
According to Florencio, estimates show that up to 80 percent of jewelry sold in the market is smuggled, while figures on jewelry exports ($ 27 million at the end of 2013) and domestic sales (700 million P during the same period) are undervalued. .
Government support to the sector has also remained marginal, at around 20 million pesos over the past 10 years.
This pales in comparison to the kind of support the Thai jewelry industry has received from its government.
Based on Florencio’s presentation on Thursday, Thailand spent $ 13.9 million from 2004 to 2014 on its jewelry industry, which equates to around 62 million pesos per year over 10 years.
This helped boost Thailand’s jewelry exports to $ 8.9 billion in the first eight months of 2012, from just $ 1.45 million in 1990.
According to Florencio, if the local industry got at least 40 million pesos a year, even for just five years, that amount could already significantly increase the country’s exports.
The jewelry sector would have great growth potential given the country’s abundant natural resources, especially gold deposits, estimated to be the fifth largest in the world. She also cited the availability of skilled and cheap labor in the country.
Florencio noted a Harvard report commissioned by the Department of Commerce and Industry in 1987 which said that “the jewelry industry, where a skilled workforce in production and design is essential to competitiveness. international, has all the characteristics of an activity in which the Philippines has a competitive position. edge. Products with a high skilled labor content must be at the heart of any coherent strategy to encourage non-traditional exports.
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