Gov’t pins hopes on revival of manufacturing

More jobs, higher income seen with rise of industry

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A Philippine-made catamaran sailing yacht made by Ces Craft Philippines. The Aquino administration is confident that a solid foundation is being laid for the Philippines to rebuild its manufacturing industry and retake its position as one of Southeast Asia’s leading exporters. PHOTO FROM BOATSHOPMANILA.COM

The Aquino administration is confident that a solid foundation is being laid for the Philippines to rebuild its manufacturing industry and retake its position as one of Southeast Asia’s leading exporters.

The revival of the country’s manufacturing sector will allow the economy to experience the kind of growth that leads to more jobs and higher income levels, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

The country’s healthy growth in the past three years, driven largely by remittances that fuel domestic demand, has helped improve the Philippines’ image from one that is marked by mere booms and busts.

“We can still get back our manufacturing industry,” Balisacan said during an interview with Inquirer editors and reporters.

The country will need a favorable investment climate if it hopes to “sustain confidence in the economy,” he added.

In line with that goal, he said, the administration plans to further boost its infrastructure development program to address major bottlenecks, particularly in the transportation and energy sectors.

“If there is any single factor that investors are looking at, not just foreign but even our own domestic investors, it’s the quality of our infrastructure and backlogs of all kinds, from power to transportation, from airports to piers,” Balisacan said.

The government plans to raise infrastructure spending to 20 percent of the national budget by next year from this year’s 16 percent. By 2016, President Aquino’s last year in office, spending may stand at 25 percent of the national budget, the equivalent of roughly 5 percent of gross domestic product.

Also, officials are working to speed up the rollout of various big-ticket projects under the administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, where the bulk of the money to be spent will come from the private sector, he said.

“Admittedly, we have overestimated the speed by which one could move PPP projects,” he said, citing procurement hurdles that most Cabinet officials had not foreseen when the PPP promises were first made.

The administration, he said, has admitted that most PPP projects may not be completed by 2016.

“But the President does not really care who inaugurates these projects,” he said, noting that the construction of new roads and train lines has already started.

In the past three decades, the Philippines suffered from misguided policies and mismanagement that led to the decline of the manufacturing sector—the industry that generates the most jobs, Balisacan said.

The failure of past administrations to develop the country’s infrastructure aggravated energy problems and created logistics bottlenecks that choked production, he said.

As a result, the service sector and domestic consumption, supported by remittances from migrant workers, have become the country’s main growth drivers.

Balisacan said that, while this has been a welcome phenomenon, the country still needs to build up manufacturing, which has the potential to create better-paying jobs and more stable employment, enabling more people to rise out of poverty.

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  • titolim

    Paano uusad ang negosyo sa local lng pahirapan na sa pag kuha ng Business Permit mag makaawa ka pa at mag susuhol para lang ma release ang mga permit mo at hindi ka pa naka umpisa naka abang na ang BIR na bayad ng bayad ang ordinaryong lihitimong negosyante tapos pupunta lang sa bulsa ng mga kawatang politiko. Paano tayo uunlad niyan kung ganyan nalang palagi at wala ng katapusan ang sestimang ito.

    • klepto

      Hindi lang yan, kapag babayad ka na ng buwis sila pa ang nag dedecide kung magkano ang kita mo at magkano ang buwis na babayaran mo.

  • big dawg

    first step, ibaba ang presyo ng kuryente. so ironic, mahirap ang bansa natin pero pangalawa yata tayo sa pinakamahal na kuryente sa buong Asia.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    puro na lang plano..pagdating ng next adminitration plano pa rin yan..press release lang

  • BoracayADMIRER

    YES!!!!
    Manufacturing is the solution to poverty alivation. Please focus on factories! (But don’t forget the environment. Clean manufacturing! – No need of massive pollution)

  • erine0

    Nurturing the manufacturing industry needs a lot of planning, along with inducements via tax holidays. Nowadays, the BIR under Kim Henares even wants to cut tax incentives in export processing zones. While today, it was reported that the tobacco manufacturing industry in the Philippines has been suffering declining sales due to the imposition of sin taxes. Government must learn to give back, and not be taking all of the time.

    It is not easy to nurture manufacturing. Even the United States has had difficulty, as it has seen its economy dwindle from its manufacturing base into one that is service based.

    The Philippines has lost much of the little manufacturing industry it had. Our steel industry is in shambles and the closest we had to a manufacturing giant, San Miguel Corp., has been dismembered and become a deal-making conglomerate.

    However, it is never too late to turn a new leaf. I only hope that this effort is in earnest. To see is to believe.

  • albert

    The Aquino administration is confident that a solid foundation is being laid for the Philippines to rebuild its manufacturing industry and retake its position as one of Southeast Asia’s leading exporters.<<<< to rebuild and retake..?? meaning pNOy admin admits that in MARCOS era, PH is one of Southeast Asia’s leading exporters..

    • big dawg

      Marcos was good in his early years, he built and destroyed his legacy. tumo nga naman, bilis mkalimot ng pinoy… tsktsktsk

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