DTI not favoring Hyundai, Lopez insists

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TRADE Secretary Ramon Lopez says he doesn't know where VACC is coming from in filing charges against him.

TRADE and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday said the board resolution on Hyundai Asia Resources Incorporated’s (HARI) alleged failure to comply with an industry development program under Executive Order 156 was not in favor of the motoring firm.

Lopez, who is on a trade mission to Hungary, made the statement following the criminal complaint filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) against the DTI chief Thursday.

“We, in BOI (Board of Investments), were the ones who investigated and suspended their [HARI’s] MVDP (Motor Vehicle Development Program) license and asked for the collection of what’s due to the government,” Lopez said in a text message to reporters.

The BOI, an attached agency of DTI, came up with a board resolution dated Nov. 22, 2017 in a meeting attended by high-level officials of DTI and the Department of Finance (DOF) on HARI’s motion for reconsideration.

HARI, the importer and distributor of Hyundai cars in the Philippines, has agreed to comply with the directives of DTI and DOF, according to Lopez’s letter to House of Representative Committee on Ways and Means Chair Dakila Cua.

Did their job

“We just did our job. They filed Motion for Reconsideration. Our technical guys and lawyers studied the case further. But we later confirmed decision to suspend the registration in Motor Vehicle Development Program of BOI because BOI found out there was no assembly plant in operation,” Lopez said.

He reiterated that the BOI requested the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to compute for the amount of tax refund and duty differentials between completely built-up and knocked-down parts and components on all importations.

The BOC will also be the one to determine the period of payment of duties.

“So is that favoring HARI?” Lopez asked.

“I don’t know where they are coming from,” he said.

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