NEDA: Industry sector has great potential to boost inclusive growth

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QUEZON CITY, July 16 (PIA) -- The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is confident that the country's industry sector has great potential to boost inclusive growth. 

The economic growth of 7.8 percent for the first quarter of 2013 can drive industry sector toward inclusive growth of the country, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said during the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) on July 10. 

The Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed that in April 2013, employment in the industry sector increased with 224,000 workers (3.8%) compared last year in the same period. Meanwhile, the quality of employment also improved as shown by the increasing percentage of wage and salary workers with 58% in April 2013 from 56% last year. 

Manufacturing is the biggest component of the industry sector which is growing at an impressive rate of 9.7% despite the 8.4 percent drop in our goods exports. 

“The main contributors to the strong growth were manufactures of food, household appliances, communication equipment and apparatus, chemical products, basic metals, machinery and other equipment, and transport equipment,” Sec. Balisacan said on his speech. 

“Our drive to revitalize the Philippine industries, particularly manufacturing, is closely related to our strategy to massively generate quality employment, especially for low-skilled workers,” Sec. Balisacan added. 

Such recommendations from Manufacturing Industry Roadmap (MIR) compiled by Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) include short run (2014-2017) stating policies that focus on strengthening and rebuilding existing capacity of industries especially those with strong potentials to generate employment; addressing missing gaps; and creating linkages and spill-over effects in sectors such as automotive, electronics, food, garments, motorcycle, shipbuilding, chemicals, and allied or support industries; and medium run (2018-2021) containing expansion and new investments especially in the upstream, immediate or core sectors such as parts and components industries. By linking manufacturing with agriculture, construction, and services, supply chain gaps will be addressed and forward and backward linkages will be strengthened. 

“We need to harness appropriate science and technology to address the constraints and challenges facing the sector. But appropriate Science and Technology (S&T) is not a manna from heaven. To harness the benefits of S&T, countries have to invest in research and development (R&D),” Sec. Balisacan mentioned in his speech. 

Sec. Balisacan also encouraged the government partners in the S&T community and the industry sector to take the necessary steps to increase their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. 

“Scientific research institutions and organizations like the NAST have a crucial role to play in generating the basic knowledge needed to build new technologies, and in promoting collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs. A major part of the R&D work will still be initiated by government. But we hope that the private sector would increase their R&D efforts as well,” Sec. Balisacan stated. (Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue/Media ng Bayan)

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