Gov’t urged to prioritize agriculture, tourism in creating jobs


Korean tourists enjoy horse-riding in Baguio city’s Wright Park on Christmas Day last year. Local and foreign economic experts have recommended to President Aquino that his government make tourism and agriculture the priority sectors for infrastructure support and development to create more jobs. PHOTO BY RICK ALBERTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—To the President: Make agriculture and tourism the priority sectors for infrastructure support and development to create more jobs.

Local and foreign economic experts, stakeholders, the government’s partners for development and other support sectors made this recommendation to President Aquino as his administration vowed to transform the jobless 6.6 percent economic growth in 2012 into one that would be inclusive and felt by all in the form of more jobs and livelihood opportunities.

Earlier, the World Bank warned that the government would be dealing with a high unemployment rate by 2016, which would be detrimental to the economy, should it fail to put in place measures that would create more jobs this early.

The recommendation had been submitted to President Aquino at the end of the two-day Philippine Development Forum (PDF), hosted by the World Bank, here on Tuesday.

The policy recommendation—which outlined the five tasks of economic development; human development and poverty reduction; justice and peace; climate change adaptation and mitigation; and good governance and anti-corruption—was summarized to reporters by World Bank country director for the Philippines Motoo Konishi on Tuesday.

For the economic development aspect, they said that the government would be able to create 14.6 million jobs by 2016 if it adopted reforms that would boost the business environment, including that for agriculture and tourism.

The economic experts pushed for nationwide single-window business entry and licensing process.

There is also an urgent need to remove barriers to business entries, especially in the area of interisland shipping to help ease food prices, they recommended.

In strongly batting for more support to agriculture and tourism, the economic experts consider these sectors major job generators because of their forward and backward linkages.

They also recommended that government revisit critical laws such as the National Land Use Code, Competition Policy Law and the Cabotage Law.

To further boost agriculture and tourism, they suggested that the government increase its spending for infrastructure from the current 2.6 percent to five percent of the gross domestic product.

Konishi, the forum’s vice chairman, told reporters that increasing government spending to five percent could be done.

On the human development and poverty reduction aspect, the economic experts recommended that government expand its programs on health, education and social protection, including the conditional cash transfer program.

The focus, they said, should be on disadvantaged groups such as out-of-school youths, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and dropouts.

Public-private partnerships should also be strengthened to address skills mismatch. The curriculum should be realigned to meet labor market needs, they added.

Reforms in the justice system should also be undertaken, by introducing amendments to or replacing outdated laws, speeding up resolution of cases to clear backlogs that would decongest jails, and combating inefficiency and corruption in the judiciary.

On peace efforts, they lauded the government for significant developments to end the Moro rebellion but they said that it should work hard to preserve the gains of the peace process by making the Moro people feel they were indeed part of the system.

On climate change adaptation and mitigation, the economic experts said the current government’s disaster reform agenda has improved a lot and has become comparable to international standards.

In the good governance and anti-corruption cluster, they recommended that the government “build and empower constituencies for reform that will demand for and support good governance; strengthen monitoring and evaluation mechanisms particularly on public financial management and performance management systems; and give special attention to governance reform and institution building efforts in Mindanao.”

Konishi noted that they had recognized that the fight against corruption in the country “is being waged with determination (by the Aquino government) and it is paying off.”

“Transparency is improving everywhere in government,” he said.

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  • rickysgreyes

    PNoy open up shipping lanes to add 5-10 foreign players. Like what was done for banking in 1994.You can do this with Congress. The oligarchs have ruled for so long, contributing much to the inefficiency.

  • upupperclassman

    In addition to growth in agriculture and tourism, Philippines should prioritize growth in real investment. Relying on consumption, construction of condominiums and temporary hot money investment cannot create healthy growth to provide more jobs.

  • iping2sison

    All minerals extracted from PH mines should be processed here. No more exportation of ores. PH should instead produce and export finished steel products. 

    • rickysgreyes

      Too expensive to process here. Problem is mining firms do not declare correct output, I.e., evading taxes and pocketing all profits with the connivance of BIR and local officials.Countries which have prospered from mining, like Western Australia and Chile, do not necessarily process output but collect the right share of government.Here, big business does not give the right charge to government. It does not help that we give mining licenses to Chinese firms, which are notorious in evading taxes.I would prefer giving licenses to American, Australian firms or well known respected firms which have good track records

  • ApoLapullapu

    Processing Palm Oil into finished cooking oil instead of exporting raw oil will create hundreds if not thousands of jobs in Mindanao.  And it will boost dollar earnings.

    • Loreto Ledesma

      ..we do not process palm oil

      • ApoLapullapu

        Now that the peso is strong, we should buy equipment to process palm oil so that we will be exporting finished products instead of raw oil.

  • jurbinsky77

    Wrong diagnosis.

    At this point in time, the government should concentrate in building power sources; coal, gas, and hydro-electric dams. Remote areas could have solar panels and wind turbines.

    If the electric cost is low, then industries will be viable, the consuming public would have money to buy goods rather than Meralco siphoning all the money. Imagine, Meralco has the gall to force the public to pay for transmission losses and the exchange rate difference. And the goods are not yet delivered or consumed but Meralco asks for the payment already. Greedy.

    Cheap electric power for domestic and export-oriented industries.

    Coal is bountiful and portion of the produce from the gas fields in Palawan can fuel gas turbines.

    Additional dams can be built in Bulacan.- Norzagaray, Angat, Remedios Trinidad, Bustos, San Ildefonso and San Miguel. The supply of water would make Bulacan as the vegetable basket of Luzon.

    In rainy season, there are plenty of water but starting March, La Mesa Dam is dried up, tap water smells like mud and sometimes, water is rationed out in the metropolis except in areas of the gated villages. Why not build complimentary dams in Antipolo, Rodriguez, San Mateo or Marikina?

    The wind mills should be dual-purpose – electric power and for pumping deep artesian well for potable water. You do not need those wind turbines like what they installed in Ilocos Norte, but those that are manufactured in San Rafael, Bulacan (like merry-go-round). 

    Prioritize the resources for job creation which means affordable power for factories and small scale home industries.

    Prospective investors are excited to invest in the Philippines but when they do the “due diligence” study, they back out because of high overhead costs.

    For food production, the government (DA) should distribute trowels, hoes, rakes, shovels to the idle bodies. The BPI should give interested parties free vegetable seeds. Instead of rifles, rebels (NPA, MNLF, MILF, Bayan, LFS, etc.) should hold and use hoes and shovels to enable themselves to be productive.

    Why do you have to blame the government for all of your miseries? I am sick and tired of some people posting utter dis-respect to your President and unique as it is, only the Filipinos post in opinion sites like this, collective stupidity that hurt not only the posters but every Filipino who become butt of jokes and ridicule by others.

    And the Filipinos should stop to be thieves, political leaders or ordinary citizens.

  • Billy Reyes

    Stop pouring so much money, energy & efforts in the NCR. We are exhausted paying attention to Metro Manila’s problem.

    Empower more on the provinces. For example: in Palawan there more beautiful islands to be develop for eco tourism its more sustainable, build this islands some airports.

    We cannot move forward because of overcrowding, crime everywhere, dirty shithole place metro manila. one of the ugliest capital in the world. its really is…..

    • magarito

      wish ko lang may tumubong planned city sa ibang parte ng pilipinas. yung malawak ang kalye. maganda ang sistema ng transportasyon, at ang mga gusali at bahay ay nasa tamang lugar. parang singapore. madaming lupa sa atin. hindi yun imposible.

  • Ricgwapo

    This has been promised many times by the previous and current governments.  What’s new?

    There is no continuity in the program, commitments are superfluous, creates undue expectations and in the end the farmers and fisher folks suffer.

    If government is really serious in what they are promising and saying, it must seriously review the capacity and capabilities of the departments involved in creating jobs.

    Departments of Agri, Tourism, Natural Resources???? 

    Lots of talking but no tangible results.

    Let’s be serious, for our people are suffering from hearing too much talking, promises and extreme poverty.  

  • Chick

    The Fisheries sector is a dying industry.. No sufficient help is being generated from the government, especially in terms of its personnel services.. No plantilla positions to speak of.. The gov’t has been turning blind eyes for years on its requests for such.. There is a big gap looming among the senior officers and the young ones, who are mostly on a job order services..Nagsisiretire at nagkakandamatayan na ang mga nakakatanda sa BFAR.. How would you fill in the gaps eh wala namang plantilla? Administrations came and changed, pero wala pa rin.. This Pnoy administration is no different.. Puro press release.. This country is turning to be an Abad, Drilon and Angara country.. Puro mga province nila ang nabibigyan ng importansya.. NAkakayamot na.. Puro sakripisyo sa bayan pero wala man lang due compliments.. Samantalang daming kurakot na nagpapanggap na crusaders against corruptions.. Eleksyon n nmn.. UNA and LP are no different.. SAme old banana.. No logical choices.. SAme trapo families.. This country is going to the dogs again.. 

    • oidkcin

      sad but true. kakistocracy reigns.
      Impeach Aquino….& her brother.

      • nicosan


      • oidkcin

        Impeach Aquino….& her brother.

      • ProudPinoyinLosAngeles

        And you should be deported to North Korea or be kept in a maximum security mental institution! LOL

      • oidkcin

        just do it harharhar.
        Impeach Aquino…..& her brother.

      • MostHatedRace

        Deport oidkcin back to china

      • MostHatedRace

        Deport oidkcin back to china

      • oidkcin

        Just do it tulong pa kayo ni idle mong si Abnoyd harharhar.
        Impeach Aquino….& her brother.

      • magarito

        anong damo ang tinitira mo pre? carabao grass?

      • oidkcin

        lagkitan p’re, kasama ang mga buto harharhar kaya nga natutuwa ako sa mga tulad mong abnoydski mala idol harharhar ulet.
        Impeach Aquino…..& her brother.

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