Socioeconomic Planning Secretary

Data Dissemination Forum on
2014 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) and
2014 Survey on Tourism Establishments in the Philippines (STEP)
Makati Shangri-La
January 10, 2017

Dr. Lisa Grace Bersales, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the country, not just the PSA; Dr. Celia Reyes, Senior Fellow of the Philippine Institute of for Development Studies—a friend; Deputy National Statistician Romeo Recide; Ms. Dulce Regala, Assistant National Statistician; and the other discussants of today’s forum; other officers of the PSA; colleagues in the government; the media; friends from the private sector; ladies and gentlemen; good morning!

I would like to thank—and I’m honored—the PSA for having invited me to deliver this address for the Data Dissemination Forum of the 2014 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) and the 2014 Survey of Tourism Establishments in the Philippines (STEP). These two surveys are among the numerous surveys that are being undertaken by the PSA.

The ASPBI—Philippine Business and Industry Survey—actually provide critical data for Philippine Development Planning, especially in terms of invigorating the private sector in terms of their contribution to the economy and energizing other business, as well as boosting the manufacturing sector, which had been in the background but of late has been on a resurgence. We need to push further the resurgence of the manufacturing sector because it is an employment-generating—among the most employment-generating sectors of the economy.

As far as the STEP is concerned, it is also a very critical type of survey. The data are important in promoting our tourism industry. In fact last night in the Cabinet meeting, we had an extensive discussion of the Department of Tourism’s Development Plan from 2017 to 2022 and well, we discussed the Miss Universe pageant at the end of this month. We also discussed a lot of substantive matters like: we need to find out what are the different types of tourists. Are they adventurers? Are they business or investor tourist types? Are they students? I understand there are many students now from Europe and the US who travel abroad to learn from other countries, to interact with students from other countries and faculties from other countries. We should also try to attract them because they come in large numbers. Also, what repel or attract tourists? What are the types of things that tourists are looking for? Are they looking for beaches? Are they interested in beaches? Are they interested in museums, historical sites, geography? Are they looking for food: typical and food specific to the country? Are they looking for adventure? Are they looking for entertainment? So we need to find out what it is so tourists can demand the part in the tourism industry. We don’t need to supply all of them but we can supply what we have strengths in, where we have comparative advantage.

We also need to know what repel tourists. Is it security? Is it advisories given by different embassies regarding the security situation of the country? Or is it infrastructure constraints and other types of things that might repel tourists? But this is not something that PSA can conduct. I think this is not the kind of survey data that PSA can gather. I think this is more of the task of the DOT—Department of Tourism. I suppose they could collaborate with the PSA so that some of these important types of data can be gathered so we know how to promote our tourism industry.

Another thing that we need to do—I’m just talking about how to promote tourism industry—is we need to be aggressive in marketing our tourism industry. For example, we were in Peru just two months ago, and in Peru they have desks in hotels that give away pamphlets and sheets that describe the sites to visit in the country. I don’t see that in our country. These pamphlets that promote our tourism sites.

We are going to have a tourism summit. The decision last night at the Cabinet was: we should have a tourism summit because the tourism industry involves not only the Department of Tourism, but also all the other departments. Infrastructure, for example. Security—we have National Security Adviser. We also need to involve the Budget because tourism promotion entails some budgetary proficiency. Trade and Industry because they look after the tourism establishments. And the other departments of the executive branch of this government.

The 2014 Annual Survey of Philippine Business Industry, as already mentioned, is the 43rd series of similar surveys conducted since the 1956 Annual Survey of Manufactures. Through the years, the ASPBI is serving its purpose in the construction of the national and regional accounts of the Philippine economy; as well as in the determination and comparison of regional economic structure and performance; and in the formulation of monitoring plans and/or policies in the attainment of national and regional economic goals, apart from the other purposes which the ASPBI serves.

On the other hand, the STEP—Survey on Tourism Establishments of the Philippines—was first undertaken in 2009 and the 2014 STEP is the second time such a survey was conducted. The STEP is essential in the determination of the economic contribution of tourism to the Philippine economy, as the data from this survey will serve as inputs in the compilation of Philippine Tourism Satellite Account (PTSA). Through this satellite account, the contribution of tourism industry to the economy within the Philippine System of National Accounts can be quantified. Understanding and knowing the economic contribution of tourism will lead to an effective and efficient policy research, monitoring, analysis, and development of the tourism industry in the country.

As to the survey results of the 2014 ASPBI, a total of 35,009 establishments with total employment of 20 workers or more—I think this is the definition of medium to large enterprises. Because we have several types of enterprises—we have micro, small, medium, and large. The survey was conducted on establishments with a total of 20 or more workers in the country, 35 establishments short of the total recorded in 2013.

By broad industry groups, 73 percent were engaged in services—well, the economy is largely service sector economy, as you know; 24 percent in industry; and 3.3 percent in agriculture. The industry shares have increased by measly 0.4 percent for services while it decreased by 1.8 percent for agriculture and 1.4 percent for industry. These new data could lead us government planners to evaluate how the micro and medium establishments are performing amidst this growing number of large establishment and in the face of trade liberalization.

In terms of concentration of large establishments, 41 percent were located in 2014 in the National Capital Region, followed by Calabarzon—that’s Region IVA—with 14 percent. When it comes to value of output, however, large establishments in Calabarzon contributed 34 percent to the economy versus only 25 percent from the National Capital Region.

Employment generated by these establishments totaled about 4.1 million salaried employees. Salaried employees are the so-called quality type of workers. Because we have other types of workers that are own-account workers or family workers without compensation. Those are the workers of low quality. The objective has always been to try to promote quality employment—so salaried workers. The magnitude of employment generated by large establishments is crucial in our quest for inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

As to the STEP, the indicators are important and helpful for us to monitor and help in the development of the tourism industry in our country, as already mentioned before.

I was informed that the survey response rate for both the ASPBI and the STEP were 85 percent—for the former, for the Philippine Business and Industry Survey—and 85.2 percent for the STEP. For these two high survey response rates, we acknowledge the support and cooperation of about 30,000 establishments that you represent here in the forum today. All of you deserve recognition and sincere gratitude from the country, especially from the PSA and the NEDA.

Further, I would like to commend the dedication and diligence of the PSA leadership and staff, especially the field personnel in the fielding and retrieval of questionnaires.

To conclude, let me share with you one of the fundamental principles of official statistics of the United Nations. To paraphrase, the quality of official statistics, such as the ASPBI and the STEP results, and hence, the quality of information available to the government, the economy, and the public depends largely on the cooperation of the citizens and enterprises to which you are an important part of, in providing appropriate and reliable data for necessary statistical compilations critical for policy analysis and development planning.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat! One more greeting: Salud, amor, felicidad y dinero en añonuevo. That’s health, love, happiness, and money.