Economy needs jobs boost from industrial sector

THE PHILIPPINES can achieve inclusive growth with a stronger industrial sector creating productive job opportunities, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

“The Philippines has a robust service sector which is a pillar of the economy, but the country needs to develop an equally robust industrial sector to create more job opportunities,” ADB senior country economist Norio Usui said during yesterday’s launch of the “Taking the Right Road to Inclusive Growth” report.

Mr. Usui claimed the country’s focus on electronics had led to “exports vulnerability.”

“We must remember that last year the country has experienced sharp drop in exports. People say that it was because of the global crisis but then if you check all your neighbors, other countries maintained their exports growth… You concentrate too much on electronics, then you face these difficulties… The point is you need to diversify,” he said.

“It is not about the products. The point is not the products but the need is to focus on the capabilities of what we already have… which product is easy to develop.”

A stronger industrial base, said Mr. Usui, means the Philippine economy can “walk on two legs of industry and modern services.”

The report said policy reforms should be undertaken to address existing challenges that include the under-provision of basic infrastructure, weak governance and an unfavorable perception of the country’s business environment.

Responding to the study, University of the Philippines economist Emmanuel S. De Dios noted the need to address corruption and political instability.

National Economic and Development Authority Assistant Director-General Ruperto P. Majuca, meanwhile, said in a text message that the government was working to strengthen sectors such as “manufacturing, infrastructure and logistics, shipbuilding and mining… among others.”


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