25 June 2010 – Today, the Philippines formally becomes the 70th contracting party to the International Convention on the Simplification
and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, also known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), as the Philippine
delegation to the Annual World Customs Organization Council Session in Brussels, Belgium, is scheduled to transmit
the country’s Instrument of Accession to the RKC, as ratified by President Arroyo on 16 March 2009 and concurred
accordingly by the Senate through Resolution No. 220 on 1 February 2010.
We would like to congratulate the Philippine Government and our colleagues in the private sector for their efforts to
bring this landmark legislation to reality.
We strongly believe that this will eventually help us improve our competitiveness. For the longest time, our competitiveness
image in international business has been burdened by low rankings in the ease of doing business. But more than
improving our image in the international business community, RKC accession, compliance, and implementation will
translate into more investments, more jobs for Filipinos, and more revenues to the government to support social
infrastructures, as well as deliver a strong platform to achieve a credible and clean government bureaucracy, which
is the common desire and battle cry of every Filipino, especially for the incoming Aquino administration.
We note that our ASEAN neighbors Malaysia and Singapore, as well as our major trading partners, have already
acceded to the convention. A look at the 59 contracting parties in 2008 reveals that about 83.5% of the country’s
total exports, 60.5% of imports, and 71.2% of total RP trade go to these countries. Research also shows that
among these committed parties, 51 posted a significant increase (an average of 8%) in the average ratio of trade to
GDP after accession. It is therefore evident that the country’s accession to the RKC, if properly implemented, will
be a powerful tool for promoting Philippine business. As we take serious steps in fulfilling our commitments, we
further strengthen our relationship with our trading partners and prospect ones.
We reiterate our strong support for the RKC. We have reached our first milestone, that is to complete the long and
challenging process of our country’s accession. But there is still a lot of work to be done. We now bring the valuable
lessons of the past: there have been a lot of ambitious policies, yet some failed because of the lack of political will in
their implementation. The key to reaping the fruits of this convention lies in providing the necessary environment and
direction so that RKC compliance and implementation will sail smoothly.
We therefore unite with the call of the Export Development Council, the National Competitiveness Council, and
their member government agencies and private organizations for a continued and strengthened partnership. If we
seriously want to participate in international trade, whether there is crisis or not, we must adjust to the demands of
the trading world.