Raffy Tulfo: “The ‘ukay-ukay’ industry has evolved as part of the Filipino Culture.”
RAFFY TULFO – The senator recently filed a Senate bill seeking to legalize “ukay-ukay” or imported second-hand garments and goods.
Senator Raffy Tulfo filed Senate Bill No. 1778 in late January 2023. The said bill aims to repeal Republic Act No. 4635, which restricts commercial “ukay-ukay” importation in the country.
The measure’s explanatory note stated that the “ukay-ukay” industry has evolved as “part of the Filipino culture”, adding that the said industry has generated jobs for Filipinos. However, it must be regulated by the proper government agencies in order to ensure its compliance with applicable laws.
“Pursuant to the proposed bill, the P18 billion industry will no longer be an underground enterprise since it will be duly registered and its revenues audited for accountability by the proper government agencies,” the measure’s explanatory note stated.
“Ukay-ukay”, as defined in the measure’s explanatory note, refers to a type of business that deals in second-hand accessories which are sold at a cheap price.
According to a report, there’s a high volume of “ukay-ukay” business in the Philippines even though “ukay-ukay” importation is illegal in the country.
The senator already floated the idea of legalizing “ukay-ukay” in a hearing with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) last year.
At that time, Senator Raffy Tulfo said that they have to come up with a system that legalizes “ukay-ukay” in the country since the Bureau of Customs can’t control the entry of “ukay-ukay”.
“Kung hindi niyo na po kaya talagang pigilan, kausapin niyo po siguro ‘yung mga mambabatas na para baguhin ‘yung batas natin, ‘yung policy to make the ukay-ukay legal na pwede na pong pumasok ng bansa at magbayad po ng tamang buwis,” the senator said at that time.