Press Releases

Statement on the appointment of DTI Secretary-designate Alfredo Pascual

May 26th, 2022

I congratulate Former UP President Alfredo Pascual for his appointment to the Department of Trade and Industry. Fred Pascual has shown the kind of foresight needed to steer the country’s industries forward.

For example, Pascual led UP through the creation of the Philippine Genome Center, which was to prove critical to our COVID-19 response, and which will be even more important as we face more biosafety and health threats. He also directed the creation of the Creative Industries Development Plan for UP, which was essentially a “Build, Build, Build” for the creatives, an idea I have also championed in House Bill No. 10613. Pascual also have extensive experience in both the academe and management. 

Pascual’s well-demonstrated foresight will be key to leading the DTI. I particularly wish to engage him more closely in industrial planning in relation to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Law. That is our main tax instrument for industrial policy, but we need an entire vision and plan around it. PRRD has just issued the EO approving the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP), the country’s list of priority economic activities eligible for government tax and fiscal incentives under CREATE. 

But based on my agreement with the DTI, this will just be a transitional list, and we need a more comprehensive list accompanied by a comprehensive plan. Fred Pascual will have a strong grip on the future industries we need to create. So, I expect we will continue to work on a plan that uses those tax incentives, but also sees the role of trade promotion, non-tax incentives, government policy support, and other key ingredients in creating new industries and strengthening incumbent ones. 

We have done this before with the BPO sector – I took part in discussions on our accession to the World Trade Organization and was a key drafter of the E-Commerce Law which set the policy environment for the eventual rise of that sector. We can create new industrial sectors again, and I expect to work very closely with Fred Pascual on this.

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