A proposed measure seeking the legalization of “ukay-ukay” or imported second-hand garments and goods has been filed in the Senate.
Senator Raffy Tulfo, in late January filed Senate Bill No. 1778. The proposed bill aims to repeal Republic Act No. 4635 that restricts the importation of commercial “ukay-ukay”
“The ‘ukay-ukay’ industry has evolved as part of Filipino Culture. It goes without saying that the revenue-generating industry has generated jobs for our fellow Filipinos. However, it must be regulated by the proper government agencies to ensure its compliance with applicable laws,” the measure’s explanatory note read.
“Pursuant to the proposed bill, the P18 Billion industry will no longer be an underground enterprise since it will be duly registered and its revenues audited for accountability by the proper government agencies,” it continued.
Even though “ukay-ukay” importation is illegal, there is a high volume of “ukay-ukay” business of all sorts from shoes, clothes, kitchen utensils, toys and among others in the country.
Last year, Tulfo already raised the idea of legalizing “ukay-ukay” in a hearing with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The senator emphasized that the custom bureau has been ineffective in controlling the influx of “ukay-ukay” imports.
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