New policies needed to sustain manufacturing sector's growth

By Kris Crismundo

July 5, 2018, 6:22 pm

MANILA -- Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez is batting for the adoption of fresh government policies in support of the manufacturing sector's continued growth, either in the form of tax perks or through fostering a more conducive business environment.

Lopez welcomes the double-digit growth in the manufacturing sector’s output and value for the month of May 2018.

Government data released Thursday showed that the volume of production index (VoPi) in May 2018 grew 19.8 percent, while the value of production index (VaPi) rose 21.28 percent.

Manufacturing growth in May was led by the printing industry, with its production jumping by 117.8 percent and its value increased by 107.2 percent.

Other industries that backed the sector’s growth in May include petroleum products, up by 33 percent; food manufacturing, up by 33 percent; miscellaneous manufacturing, up by 19 percent; textiles, up by 19 percent; electrical machinery, up by 17.4 percent; and rubber and plastic products, up by 13 percent.

“That’s why we need more of these policies promoting manufacturing, in terms of incentives, policy environment on forex (foreign exchange rate) that will help manufacturing base, and ease of doing business,” Lopez told reporters Thursday.

The Department of Trade and Industry has been supportive of the manufacturing sector with its Manufacturing Resurgence Program, while investment promotion agencies under such office as the Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority are providing incentives for manufacturers.

Just last month, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 to speed up transactions with public offices and make the processes less cumbersome to businessmen. (PNA)