Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. said Sunday that if the European Parliament’s will suspend the country’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status, the Philippines will suffer more job losses and affect up to 20% of its exports to EU.

“Kung ‘di mo ihahanap ng kapalit yun, syempre, apektado, lalo ngayong pandemic, hirap na hirap bumalik ang mga kumpanya… Kung talagang mawawala, talagang maraming maaapektuhang trabaho. Syempre, nakakabahala dahil 9 percent ng ating export eh sa EU. I think, in… 2019, mga 8 billion euro ang trade natin. At out of that, nag-e-enjoy yung GSP preference, mga 1.9 billion euro,” said Ortiz-Luis.

European Union’s GSP+ status gives tariff incentives on Philippine exports. Industries of coconut, marine products, tuna, semiconductors, and leather goods might take a hit if the suspension comes.

“Lahat tayo ngayon, apektado… Pero ako, I’m very confident na maso-solve yan. Madalas naman tayo tine-threaten d’yan pero may counters din within the EU na nagdedepensa sa’tin… Ang trade natin sa EU eh, halos balanced. Hindi lang tayo ang maaagrabyado, sila man. May investors sila rito na maapektuhan,” he added.

In a resolution, the EU Parliament called on the Duterte administration to stop violent operations against drug offenders, renew the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation, and drop the charges against Senator Leila de Lima and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, among others.

In response, the Palace dared the European Union to push through with its threat, oblivious of the millions of Filipinos that could become jobless amid the still worsening COVID-19 pandemic which dragged the economy into recession.


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