Philippines ranks 3rd in Trade Facilitation among Southeast Asian nations

As the country continuously gears towards modernization to simplify and streamline trade processes and procedures, the Philippines posted 86.02% score in the implementation of trade facilitation measures in 2021, ranking third among ten other Southeast Asian nations based on the latest Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation of the United Nations.

The UN global survey on trade facilitation covers 143 countries and is produced every two years. The 2021 result for the Philippines is significantly higher than its 80.65% score in 2019 prior to pandemic, as well as the 65% global average implementation rate of trade facilitation and paperless trade measures, and the 74.29% average trade facilitation rating for the whole of Southeast Asia.

Five categories were taken into account under the global survey, among which are transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and cooperation, paperless trade and cross-border paperless trade.

The Philippines maintained its 100% scores in the transparency and formalities categories, and greatly improved in institutional arrangement and cooperation at 77.78% from 55.56% in 2019. Meanwhile, in the cross-border paperless trade category, the Philippines got a score of 61.11% from 55.56% and 85.19% from 77.78% in the paperless trade category.

With the scores that the country gained for 2021, the Philippines placed third in the Southeast Asian region, following Thailand with a score of 87.1% and Singapore with a rating of 95.7%.

Despite the challenges due to the pandemic, the improved performance of the Philippines in trade facilitation can be attributed to various initiatives of the Bureau of Customs, such as the development and employment of ICT systems in place, the full implementation of the National Single Window, and the establishment of Customer Care Centers, among others.

A lot more is expected to be attained with the realization of the Philippine Customs Modernization Program (PCMP) launched last March 26, 2021. The Bureau of Customs, under the leadership of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, commits to relentlessly work on ways to achieve a Customs administration that is world-class and at par with global standards.