Executive Order No. 143


WHEREAS, recent developments in international trade brought about by the coming into force of the World Trade Organization, the acceleration of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), and the trade liberalization initiatives under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum have necessitated a comprehensive and radical restructuring of the Philippine tariff system;

WHEREAS,in view of these developments the Tariff Reform Program has been restructured to promote global competitiveness, simplify the tariff structure, facilitate trade, and level the playing field for local industries vis-a-vis foreign competitors;

WHEREAS, the Tariff Commission, as the agency responsible for undertaking a thorough study of the Philippine Trade and Tariff system, should adopt operational strategies and activities to make it effective in encouraging the development and growth of efficient, self-reliant, innovative, progressive and globally competitive Philippine industries;

WHEREAS, under Section 20, Chapter 7, Title 1, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987), the President of the Philippines is empowered to exercise such powers and functions vested in him which are provided for under the laws;

WHEREAS, under Section 78 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 8522 (FY 1998 General Appropriations Act), the President may direct changes in the organization and key positions in any department, bureau or agency;

WHEREAS, under Section 80 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 8522 (FY 1998 General Appropriations Act), heads of departments, bureaus and agencies are directed to scale down, phase-out or abolish activities no longer essential in the delivery of public services;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

Section 1. Roles of the Commission. In the light of freer and more liberal trading environment, the following functions of the Commission shall be strengthened and emphasized:

1.1. Institutionalization and acceleration of economic reforms to raise levels of competition, encourage economic efficiency, and improve consumer welfare;

1.2. Intensification of all measures to strengthen the Philippine trade relations with all other countries, economies, and institutions in the international community;

1.3. Provision of trade assistance and facilitation to domestic industry;

1.4. Investigation of anti-dumping practices of foreign industries affecting the Philippine economy, and expedite the fair and thorough adjudication of all cases involving trade measures;

1.5. Reinforcement of all research activities that study levels of competition and contestability in our economy and monitor the trade practices and activities of all other countries, economies, and institutions in the international community; and

1.6. Conduct of a continuing program of advocacy to promote new developments in international trade and tariff policy.

Section 2. Organizational and Operational Streamlining. To achieve efficiency and effectiveness, the Commission shall study/review its existing operational process, systems and set-up, and determine appropriate mechanisms and strategies to meet its mandated functions. The recommended arrangements shall be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management for approval before their adoption by the Commission.

Section 3. Redeployment of Personnel. The redeployment of personnel in the Commission as a result of the approved operational set-up shall not result in the diminution in the rank and compensation of the personnel of the Commission, and shall take into account all pertinent Civil Service laws and rules.

Section 4. Funding. Funds needed to carry out the provisions of this Executive Order shall be taken from funds available in the Commission. Provided, that the total cost for necessary staffing changes as a result of the implementation of this Order shall not exceed available funds for the Personal Service.

Section 5. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 21st day of August in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Nine.

By the President:

Executive Secretary