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Gov't willing to extend permits to import controlled chemicals.

The government is willing to extend the permits of semiconductor and electronics companies to import controlled chemicals for their operations but is seeking a compromise to ensure public safety.

President Aquino has asked for the cooperation of these companies as the government balances the legitimate business concerns and the safety of the public on the entry of controlled substances into the country.

"You have to bear in mind that the Philippines is not exempt from facing the world of terrorism. A lot of these chemicals have multi use," the President said during a forum with the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) leaders in Muntinlupa City.

"I think you will bear with us that there is a balancing act necessary, protecting the public welfare and at the same assisting you in terms of not adding undue burdens on you," he added.

Aquino said he hopes the two parties will be willing to "compromise a bit" to resolve the issue before the end of the year.

"I think you have a legitimate concern. The PNP also has a legitimate obligation. We can meet both ends if both parties are willing to compromise a bit so I'm sure there will be a solution and hopefully that solution will come with a very efficient Secretary of Interior (and Local Government) like in the person of Mel (Sarmiento)," he told the electronics industry group. "I'm sure this will come before--way, way before Christmas time, lest that becomes another issue," he added.

On the import permits of controlled substances, the President said Sarmiento has directed the Philippine National Police to extend the life of these documents, which will reportedly expire at the end of the month.

Aquino said it was up to the concerned authorities how long the extension will be given to the holders of the permits.

The industry earlier reduced its export growth target this year to 0-4 percent from the 3-5 percent estimate made last July. The bleak outlook comes amid the demand from major trading partners remain sluggish.

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President Aquino (Photo courtesy of the Official Gazette)

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Title Annotation:Latest News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Oct 23, 2015
Words:350
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