The Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines has warned authorities that thousands of workers will be displaced if resin smuggling is not stopped.
Chairman Willie Paras said local sales volume of plastic products has gone down due to the proliferation of cheap resins whose importers escape paying tariff duties.
``If sales volume continues to decline as a result of smuggling, petrochemical companies will have no choice but to cut back production,'' Paras said.
Petrochemical suppliers in the Philippines employ about 250,000.
``To prevent the smuggling of imported resin into the country, the government should put more teeth on law enforcement and crack down on violators, particularly those using the customs-bonded warehouses,'' Paras said.
Philippine law allows these warehouses to import raw and semiprocessed materials without import duties in order to help legitimate local manufacturers that export at least 70 percent of their production output.
However, APMP said some unscrupulous warehouse operators have been importing plastic resins tax- and duty- free and selling the resin for use in domestic products.
``This type of illegal activity has deprived the government of an estimated 572 million pesos [$11.2 million] in lost revenues in 2001 alone,'' Paras said.