MANILA — Manufacturing output continued its rapid growth in October 2016 due to higher production of petroleum products, non-electrical machineries, and transport equipment, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“In order to support the manufacturing sector’s continued growth, the government efforts to improve the business climate must be sustained,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

In the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for October 2016, the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) grew by 8.4 percent, a marked improvement from the 1.5 percent growth recorded in October 2015.

Meanwhile, the Value of Production Index (VaPI) also grew by 4.3 percent—a turnaround from the 6.2-percent decline in the same period last year.

Pernia said that the sector is expected to benefit from the industrial strategy of the Department of Trade and Industry that would focus on industries with potential to generate employment and encourage entrepreneurship.

“With the Duterte administration’s commitment to fast-track implementation of infrastructure projects and programs, construction-related manufactures will be a major contributor to the growth of the sector,” he said.

Pernia added that better infrastructure in future will further stimulate the expansion of the manufacturing sector, as well as more easily connect producers to the value chain, and then to local and international markets.

For consumer goods, the food subsector recorded double-digit growth in October, with 14.3 and 16.8 growth rates in volume and value of production, respectively. These are complete reversals from the -14.7 and -14.9 percent contraction last year.

For intermediate goods, the petroleum products subsector continued to strongly recover with growth rates of 37 percent and 29 percent in volume and value production, also sharp reversals from -21.7 and -35.1 growth rates in October 2015.

For capital goods, transport equipment subsector also posted 19.4-percent and 17.7-percent growth rates in volume and value of production, which are improvements from last year’s 6.3 and 7.5 growth rates.

Non-electrical machinery subsector also grew by 24.4 percent and 8.8 percent in volume and value of production, a turnaround from last year’s -2.6 and -1.4 declines.

“To raise the local industries’ competitiveness in the increasingly integrated global economy, we need to increase both public and private investments in R&D. This will surely help in the exploration and development of new products, processes, and markets,” said Pernia.