Philippine Retailing 2019 Philippine Retailing 2019 Q4_Digital - Page 6

4 PRA NEWS UPDATES PHILIPPINE RETAILING RLC CEO Frederick Go named Enterprise Asia’s Entrepreneur of the Year Photo from: Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) president and CEO Frederick Go was named Enterprise Asia’s Entrepreneur of the Year during the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2019. RLC is one of the country’s leading property development firms, and was also recognized in the Corporate Excellence category at the awards. He’s one of the two Filipino CEOs to receive the prestigious prize by Enterprise Asia, the region’s leading non-government organization in the business field. Go came to RLC in 1992 when it only had five properties in its roster, and then became an integral part of expanding RLC’s diverse portfolio for almost 30 years., 11/26/2019 PRA continues monitoring of the RTLA amendments As the pulse and voice of the retail industry in the country, the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) is continuously attending government hearings and meetings regarding the amendments on the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) or Republic Act 8762. Under the 18th Congress, both the House and Senate filed bills that aim to lower the required minimum capital for foreign retail trade investors to US$200,000 from US$2,500,000. The bills likewise reduce the required locally manufactured products carried by foreign retailer from 30% to 10% of the aggregate cost of their stock inventory. On September 24, the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 9057, despite opposition from industry groups led by the PRA. Aside from the above-mentioned provisions, the amendments, include: • Scrapping the minimum investment requirement of $830,000 per store and removing the $250,000 paid-up capital per store for enterprises engaged in high-end or luxury products; and • Removing other requirements like the $200-million minimum net worth of enterprises with paid-up capital of $2.5-7.5 million and $50 million for those selling high-end or luxury products, as well as the five-year track record in retailing, among others. While the further liberalization of the retail industry is inevitable, the PRA maintains its stand to protect the local micro, medium, and small enterprises (MSMEs) from the influx of foreign traders and businesses once the requirements were further relaxed, and sought the government’s consideration for an equal playing field for all players in the industry. “If it comes into fruition, however, the proposed amendments will instead upset a careful balance first struck 19 years ago between government, the economy, foreign investors, consumers, and especially Filipino entrepreneurs,” the PRA said in its position paper. “In other words, these bills intend to strip the protection extended by law to micro-, small-, and medium-sized (MSME) retail enterprises against foreign competition, of which many are unprepared against.” As of mid-November, the Senate TWG on the amendments have collated suggestions and propositions from various industry groups to create a substitute bill. Additional Source: Businessworld Online, 9/25/2019