June 4, 2019

A strong whole-of-government approach is necessary to boost manufacturing growth amid the sector’s sluggish performance, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) for the month of April showed that the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) fell by 14.0 percent while the Value of Production Index (VaPI) was down by 10.8 percent.  This marks the sector’s fourth consecutive month of decline in 2019.

“Notwithstanding, manufacturing output is expected to recover supported by improved domestic demand in the coming months. Easing inflationary pressures, accelerated government spending on infrastructure, and a more upbeat consumer outlook also provide additional support given expectations of additional income and availability of more jobs,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

“A strong whole-of-government—nay, whole-of-society—approach is needed to accelerate the growth of manufacturing and boost its contribution to industry growth. The needs of the food processing sector should be addressed as it accounts for the largest share among all manufacturing sub-sectors. This points to the critical importance of agriculture which, besides being the source of food, is also the feeder sector to the food manufacturing sub-sector,” he added.

Secretary Pernia said there is a need to address the governance issues faced by the agribusiness sector and its related industries.

“The government may need to revisit existing interventions to ensure that they are designed to be responsive to the needs and actual behavior of farmers, fisher folks and processors,” he said.

The delineation of responsibilities across various food safety regulatory authorities should be clarified in order to improve the enforcement of regulations.

“It must be ensured that all food products, both for domestic market consumption and for export, are aligned with Good Agricultural Practices or Good Manufacturing Practices,” said Pernia.

Moreover, Pernia stressed the need to encourage businesses to increase production.

“Transacting with government must be simplified and made less expensive, as mandated by RA No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, ” he said.

In addition, the law calls for the standardization of requirements for business registrations and permit issuances, and capacity-building to improve the efficiency of LGUs in the processing of business applications.