Philippines to revive body for industrialization plan

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12:06 AM November 23rd, 2012

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By: Riza T. Olchondra, November 23rd, 2012 12:06 AM

An employee works on a machine inside a newly built product distribution warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, in this file photo. A council tasked to help the government craft a national industrialization strategy is set to be revived amid efforts to boost the manufacturing sector’s contribution to economic growth. AFP PHOTO/JES AZNAR

MANILA, Philippines—A council tasked to help the government craft a national industrialization strategy is set to be revived amid efforts to boost the manufacturing sector’s contribution to economic growth.

The Industry Development Council (IDC) comprising public and private sector representatives, which was created during the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, has been “dormant” for some time but is set to be revived to help the current administration meet its economic targets under the Philippine Development Plan.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance, and Department of Science and Technology, as well as a representative from the private sector, make up the IDC.

Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said during the 2nd Philippine Manufacturers and Producers Summit that the industrialization strategy would take into account the integrated manufacturing road map that government has been preparing with stakeholders.

The government would like to convene the council in the first quarter, Cristobal said. The integrated road map for manufacturing is expected to be completed at about the same time.

Government wants to revive the country’s industrialization given the potential of basic industries such as copper, petrochemicals, and iron and steel, according to Cristobal.

Earlier this year, the DTI launched the industry road map initiative, which involves working with stakeholders to come up with plans to promote the growth of specific industries and the entire manufacturing sector.

A more robust manufacturing sector is seen to contribute more to the country’s gross domestic product.

“If we’re going to sustain growth in the next decades, there is opportunity for integrating to complete the gaps in the supply chain,” Cristobal said.

University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations professor Rene Ofreneo said at the same event that having a strategy for industrialization could help the country expand its products.

“We have to invest in dialogue to discuss how we can revive our industries, and how we can be number two if not number one in Asia,” Ofreneo said.

Deutsche Bank analyst Rafael Garchitorena said in the same event that many foreign firms have been considering bringing their manufacturing operations in the Philippines because of stable labor costs.

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