February 05, 2020

The government should continue supporting initiatives towards digital solutions in the private sector to boost manufacturing growth and bounce back from its decline in 2019, the National Economic and Development Authority said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported in its Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) that the total manufacturing index declined in December 2019.  Year-on-year Volume of Production Index (VoPI) and Value of Production Index (VaPI) declined by 10.1 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively.

Both indices remained in the negative territory in the twelve months of 2019, resulting in a full-year decline of 8.6 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. This reversed the positive growth of manufacturing that was recorded in 2018.

“We encourage industries to capitalize on innovation to reach their growth potential in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To this end, the government needs to formulate and implement policies and programs to stimulate innovation in the country,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

Building the capacity of the workforce and embedding innovation in training are also crucial to meet technical and emerging market demands.

“The Philippines also needs to improve its reputation concerning intellectual property protection. This will attract foreign companies to locate sensitive technologies and product operations in the country,” the Cabinet official said.

These will also allow the country to expand from the production of basic products and commodities to higher value intermediate and specialty products for domestic and export purposes.

“To support manufacturing growth, there is a need to strengthen the transport and logistics sectors by building quality and climate-resilient infrastructure. In this regard, a proposed bill to amend the Contractor’s License Law will open up the country’s construction sector to eligible and qualified domestic and foreign contractors,” said Pernia.

He added that encouraging ASEAN regional cooperation to embark on potential regional infrastructure projects will allow the Philippines to maximize benefits from trade and deepened regional integration.

MISSI is a report that monitors the production, net sales, inventories, and capacity utilization of selected manufacturing establishments to provide flash indicators on the performance of the manufacturing sector.