This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Philippine Tariff Finder (PTF)
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Customer and citizen focus, Strategic performance management, Process management and improvement
The Tariff Commission’s Philippine Tariff Finder (PTF) is an online facility that allows the public to search Philippine tariff information easily. This web-based system addresses the need of stakeholders to have easily accessible and free tariff information which clearly indicates the customer and citizen focus of the system. The PTF houses all the Philippine Tariff Schedules (Most Favored Nation and Free Trade Agreements) of all products in a single indexed database from 2013 to 2026 and acts as knowledge management and information technology for the Commission’s strategic performance management. This online tariff search facility is also an innovation in the manner by which the Commission has traditionally provided tariff information to its stakeholders which is part of process management and improvement.
Background and Problem
The PTF is an indispensable and free online search facility that addresses the importers, exporters, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need for quick, reliable and accurate information of Philippine tariff rates on specific products by simply typing in keywords or tariff codes. The PTF is an innovation as compared to how the Commission has traditionally provided tariff information to its stakeholders. Traditionally, stakeholders would have to undergo a tedious process just to determine the applicable tariff rates of products. This project was initiated by Chairperson Marilou P. Mendoza and was implemented in 2013.
The PTF aims to:
- Address the tariff information needs of its stakeholders by providing tariff information in a facilitative manner; and
- Widen information dissemination and reach of the Commission’s services.
The PTF addressed the difficulty in navigating tariff information provided by the Commission. Traditionally, stakeholders wishing to import raw material inputs and intermediate goods for their operations, and for business persons/entities wishing to engage in trade would have to go through the entire Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) or the “Tariff Book” (incorporating MFN, ATIGA, and EOs) and all the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Executive Orders (E.Os), which is available in the Commission’s office and uploaded in the Commission’s website, just to determine the applicable tariffs on specific products. Stakeholders would also photocopy the above-mentioned documents at their expense. With the implementation of the PTF, stakeholders can now quickly search the applicable tariffs on specific products free of charge. The PTF also addressed the difficulty in identifying the product tariff code (Harmonized System Code) which usually changed every five years.
Solution and Impact
The PTF makes it easier for local producers and government agencies such as MSMEs and Bureau of Customs to quickly survey the tariff cost of importing products for their operations. By having quick access to tariff information, local producers will be able to strategize and undertake early enough the necessary adjustment measures that will increase their productivity and efficiencies and allow them to compete successfully against imports while encouraging them to think global and explore markets beyond the borders of the Philippines.
The PTF consolidates all the eleven (11) Philippine tariff schedules (Most Favored Nation and FTA) from 2012- 2022 for all products in a single indexed database. The PTF is also a repository of pertinent tariff-related information. Links to the relevant websites of the Philippines’ major trading partners are also available in the facility. The site also provides an online query system and the TC’s responses to tariff and tariff-related inquiries are left online to benefit more users.
To develop the PTF, a survey of tariff search facilities of other countries was conducted and used as a basis for the development of a prototype of the PTF. The PTF was concretized by the designated employees from the Commission and in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Office – National Computer Center of the Department of Science and Technology. Its enhancement was in collaboration with the Bureau of Customs with support from the United States Agency for International Development. After the development of the PTF, an awareness-raising activity was conducted to inform the stakeholders about the facility. Periodic evaluation of the usefulness and effectiveness of the PTF was later established using various performance indicators. The PTF became the best resource tool that eases the search process of stakeholders and academic researchers on trade policy at no cost.
The PTF contributed to the fast delivery of service in the Commission, increased the satisfaction of stakeholders, reduced information search cost, and promoted a synergy of processes between the Commission’s divisions. From 2013 up to present, the Commission answered 220 tariff-related queries posted on the Commission’s website; amplified the continuous development of APEC trade repository, and national single window; and was proudly introduced by former President Benigno S. Aquino III in his speech, as the Philippines’ contribution to ASEAN’s trade facilitation efforts as a pioneer in Southeast Asia, during the 23rd ASEAN Summit in Brunei Darussalam on 09 October 2013.