New trade chief Cristobal: DTI will work 'beyond administrations'
MANILA, Philippines — With 6 months left in the current administration and the elections just around the corner, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomes 2016 with a new secretary: Adrian Cristobal Jr.
But for Cristobal, who is the former trade undersecretary, “too little time” is not a reason for the agency “to just coast along." (READ: Aquino appoints Cristobal as new trade chief)
“Some may think there is too little time to try anything new, new ideas and approaches. That is not the DTI way. There is no difference between an election year and an ordinary year. We will continue to push ourselves and do our best. To stand still is a sure way to fail,” Cristobal told employes of the DTI at the turnover ceremony in Makati on Monday, January 4.
Cristobal said DTI is going full steam ahead, building on the successes of former Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and simplifying processes to further ease doing business in the Philippines.
“We look beyond administrations. We look at generations. The six months left and the elections are not relevant to our daily work and mandate. The organization is designed to meet challenges of the 21st century,” Cristobal said.
Cristobal’s focus is to have micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the core of DTI’s policies and programs and to strengthen consumer protection through quality consciousness.
“It’s not only the economic numbers that count but in [what we contribute to] alleviating poverty,” he said.
Cristobal said he will give importance to the DTI’s shared services facilities (SSF) project which he believes "has a greater impact on the livelihood of Filipinos in the grassroots level.”
The SSF project intends to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs by providing them with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, and training.
Cristobal said DTI willl continue to be vigilant in protecting consumer rights by promoting quality.
“It’s not about resolving consumer complaints but reducing them by promoting quality consciousness, a culture of quality to new standards of excellence,” he added.
According to the new DTI chief, his agency will continue to entice investors from here and abroad through targeted policies using roadmaps and pursue trade agreements and bilateral trade with other countries.
Cristobal said he will assign an officer in charge to handle work in his former position as undersecretary for industry development group and as managing head of the Board of Investments until a new undersecretary is designated by Malacañang.
Cristobal, who is in his 9th year serving DTI, was first appointed as undersecretary for consumer welfare in 2001.
He then moved on as director general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, an attached agency of the DTI, from 2005 to 2009.
In 2010, Cristobal returned as undersecretary for industry development group.
Domingo tendered his resignation in September to return to the private sector, but was prevailed upon to stay on until after the Philippine hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit last November. – Rappler.com