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Troubled banana industry calls for help

Republika

To pump up their troubled industry, the Pilipino Banana Growers and Entrepreneurs Association (PBGEA) is calling for fewer government fees and more supportive ordinances.


The move would also help facilitate simpler procedures for the compliance of stakeholders, PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig said.


Specifically, Antig cited the possible reduction in lodgment fees with the Bureau of Customs, as well as the “suspension of wharfage fees until the situation gets better”.


Considering the logistics problems that surfaced during the pandemic, he said local government units (LGUs) should also slash or retract some of their additional protocols on banana growers and entrepreneurs.


“The LGUs (should) refrain from coming up with ordinances that encroach on the right to contract freely,” Antig said.


In a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report recently, fresh bananas recorded the worst dip among the top 10 major commodity groups in terms of the value of exports at -46.9 percent as of January 2021.


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