“We are lobbying for the early passage of House Resolution 3039 with the same fervor with which we lobbied for Filipino World War II veterans’ benefits,” the President said in a high-level meeting of the Philippine Garments and Textile Association held at the Davao Room of the Sofitel Hotel this afternoon.
“Just as the US was finally receptive to the plight of Filipino veterans of World War II, we also hope it will be sympathetic to the needs of Philippine garment makers who have supplied the US market for so many years because it is a formula that will also help the US textile manufacturers,” she added.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was passed by the US Congress on Feb. 14 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17 as part of the US government stimulus package, grants a one-time lump-sum payment of $15,000 for each US-based Filipino WWII veteran and $9,000 for those living in the Philippines.
House Resolution 3039 or The Save our Industries Act of 2009 was filed by American Rep. James McDermott (D-Washington) before the US Congress last June 25, 2009. Under the proposed bill, the Philippines, a former American colony, will be given preferential duty treatment to certain apparel articles sold to the United States.
HR 3039 is currently being deliberated by the US Committee on Ways and Means.
When enacted into law, Philippine garment manufacturers will be allowed to import and use American textiles for eventual shipment back to the United States as finished garments under the cut-and-sew concept. This will allow Philippine garment exports to enter the US duty-free instead of pay the standard 30 percent to 40 percent tariff.