Move to Legalize Wag-wag Up

Move to Legalize Wag-wag Up

June 27, 2010

BAGUIO CITY – The move to urge the Congress of the Philippines to initiate the repeal of Republic Act 4653 or ‘An act to safeguard the health of the people and maintain dignity of the nation by declaring it a national policy to prohibit the commercial importation of textile articles commonly known as used clothing and rags’ is up for deliberation this week.

The proposed Resolution was introduced last year by Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda stating that second hand articles more commonly known as “ukay-ukay” have been the source of livelihood of many Baguio residents and has even added to the tourist attraction offered by the city.”

Tabanda said, “in other tourist destinations such as Hongkong, ukay-ukay has flourished and is a sustainable economic activity.”

Furthermore, the resolution states, there is no conclusive evidence that would show that imported used clothings are contaminated and may cause illnesses to the user.
“Ukay-ukay trade is now accepted even in international markets, it is no longer degrading for the Filipino to patronize these imported items,’ she said.
The proposal was referred to the Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection which recommended for its approval after deliberation in the council.

Also for deliberation are proposed resolution 111-14 introduced by Councilor leandro Yangot, Jr. calling on the President to spare the ‘ukay-ukay’ business in the city from crackdown being done by the Bureau of Customs and proposed resolution 120-14 introduced by Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Fred Bagbagen supporting House Bill No. 4055 or an Act legalizing the importation of second-hand or used clothing and rags into the Philippines and repealing Republic Act No. 4653 series of 1966.

The Committee on Market, Trade and Commerce Chaired by Councilor Elaine Sembrano also recommended for inclusion in the proposed resolution the amendment or repeal of certain provisions in Presidential Decree 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines primarily Section 8.9.1 which consider as other types of nuisance the distribution or sale of articles such as clothes, shoes, linens, towels, bedding materials, blankets, pillows and anything used for sleeping or resting, which are second hand or made of second hand materials that are offered for sale to the public.

It can be recalled that House Bill 4055 was introduced by Cagayan De Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Representative Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. and Co-authored by Congressman Nicasio Aliping, Jr. to legalize the importation of used garments stating that it could translate to an estimated Seven Hundred Million in taxes and duties annually for the country.

It also said the ukay-ukay business has generated jobs for thousands of Filipinos. /Paul Rillorta