BAGUIO CITY – The government is embarking on a 5-pronged approach to spur the growth of the country’s industry sector to generate more jobs and ensure robust economic growth in the next several years.
Trade and Industry Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba underscored that inclusive growth needs a national strategy for productive transformation and that the country’s recent economic growth has laid the foundation of inclusiveness, but unemployment and under employment have remained high; manufacturing share remained unchanged and poverty and inequality persisted.
“Inclusiveness requires high and sustained growth, poverty reduction and social protection programs, proactive growth policies and industrial strategy to create more jobs for the Filipinos,” Aldaba stressed.
Among the projected growth strategies include the promotion of sustainable growth in manufacturing for labour-intensive and new and high productivity jobs can be created; for law, medium, high-skilled workers and increase skills of the poor through greater access to education and improve productivity in agriculture where half of the poor are and that structural change by sustaining manufacturing growth is essential for job creation and poverty reduction.
The DTI official stated that agri-business is a catalyst to drive regional transformation while manufacturing has been identified as a driver for structural change and services is the glue that binds all sectors together for sustainable growth.
According to her, there is a need to fully exploit the world economy, maintain micro-economic stability, high savings and investments, allow markets to allocate resources, commit credible and capable governments and industrial policy for the country to be able to achieve increased economic growth and sustain the same through a 25-year period.
Aldaba disclosed that most countries that successfully transformed from an agrarian to a modern economy pursued an industrial policy and that debates should no longer be for or against but how to design and govern industry policies level of intervention coupled with the right balance wherein there was the mode that doing too little and intervening too much.
She explained that industrial late comer cannot simply copy industrial policy strategies of other countries because of high entry barriers in a global economy characterized by global value chains, upgrading in global value chains offer opportunities but entry not easy and grafting correct pace for reform and providing temporary support while allowing for technological learning.
She claimed that the country should have more specific programs to support emerging industries, integration in global value chains, linkages promotion, create space of micro-small, and medium enterprises, more modern omnibus investment code, walk on two legs to support both domestic and global markets and relax foreign equity restrictions.
Aldaba cited that the Bureau of Investments (BOI) shall formulate the Strategic Industry Policy Plan (SIPP) in coordination with concerned government agencies, carry out an evaluation process to determine the sustainability and potential of industry or sector in promoting long-term growth and development in the national interest and that the SIPP shall be valid for three years subject to review and amendment annually wherein it will activities covered by the Philippine Development Plan and other programs. By Dexter A. See