Home » Customs & Trade » Balance of export fund sought

EXPORTERS and their support service operators are asking the incoming administration to release the balance of the export support fund (ESF), saying the export industry is not out of the woods yet.

The Arroyo administration allotted a P1-billion ESF last year as a shot-in-the-arm for exporters hit hard by the global recession. About P200 million has already been released but the rest was realigned to fund flood projects following typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng late last year.

Now government said it will no longer release the balance as the global economic recovery is already underway.

Little effect

“We really need the P800 million as the increase in exports has yet to be felt by most exporters and their support facilities,” Customs Bonded Warehouse Operators Confederation (CBWOC) president Alfredo Yatco told PortCalls.

“Also, the entire ESF has already been allotted to certain projects and such projects have (now) been shelved due to lack of funds,” Yatco said.

“Exporters and their support facilities have (done what they could) to increase business… we are now waiting for government support to maintain whatever recovery we have.”

CBWOC is hoping to get a modest chunk of the ESF to help its members boost sagging business.

Based on different proposals submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry, about 70% of the fund will be given to small and medium-scale enterprises and the rest to high-end projects of new locators in the electronics, business process outsourcing and information technology industries.

Part of the first direct funding was used in export promotions and has resulted in sales of about P1.5 billion. The more lasting projects include the fish quality laboratory facilities for the tuna industry in General Santos City, and institutionalizing furniture design training in Cebu and Davao.

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