The Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investments plan to raise the proposed cap on the paid-up requirement for foreign retailers to $500,000 from the current proposal of $200,000.
BoI director for legal and compliance service Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego said the government would push for refinements on the proposed revisions in the Retail Trade Liberalization law by placing a cap on the required paid-up capital in exchange for scrapping the $2.5-million investment threshold.
“We actually support the liberalization of retail trade, but we are very concerned for the protection of MSME so we looking at fortifying certain measures that we deemed will help our local MSMEs,” Samaniego said in a forum on retail trade liberalization conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
She said the bone of contention among foreign retailers was not the issue on paid-up capital but on the per store investment of $830,000 per branch or around P40 million.
“That’s the burdensome area foreign retailers are crying about, for us to lower that hurdle. It is important for the government to secure a safeguard measure for our MSME especially the smallest ones or the micros, so that the little sari-sari stores or the ‘mom and pop’ shops will continue their existence as a legitimate source of livelihood for most Filipinos,” said Samaniego.