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Gov’t prioritizes 4 mfg sectors for job creation

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government plans to implement programs focused on priority sectors such as electronics, garments, automotive parts and food manufacturing as these have its potential to create huge employment opportunities, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

Speaking at the 3rd Philippine Manufacturers and Producers Summit of the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) held recently, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said electronics, garments, motor vehicle parts and food manufacturing have been identified as the priority sectors for government intervention programs.

“The four have been identified because these are seen to create and generate employment,” she said.

To come up with programs to support the growth of the four sectors, Baldoz said, the DOLE still has to wait for the different industry roadmaps.

Even as the DOLE waits for the roadmaps of the four priority sectors, she said the department has already undertaken measures to support the entire manufacturing sector through its livelihood programs, to speed up disposition of labor cases as well as promote compliance to labor laws.

Last year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the industry roadmap initiative to promote the growth of specific industries and the entire manufacturing sector.

Under the initiative, 20 industries have committed to craft roadmaps with the government and academe.

Based on the industry roadmaps identifying targets and containing strategies to make the industries competitive, the DTI aims to come up with a Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy which will provide the direction for the country’s industrialization.

In the same event, political economist Calixto Chikiamco said there are four binding constraints to the country’s industrialization. These are the poor investment climate; high minimum wage and legal requirement for labor permanency after just six months; low agricultural productivity; and unrealistic exchange rate.

To support the growth of the manufacturing sector and the country’s industrialization, he said an amendment of the Constitution by removing the foreign ownership restrictions is needed.

“While there are many causes for the poor investment climate, from inconsistent government policies to corrupt judiciary, the principal cause is the anti-foreign ownership restrictions in the Constitution, particularly in the area of public utilities,” he said.

BALDOZ CALIXTO CHIKIAMCO COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DOLE FOUR MANUFACTURING PHILIPPINE MANUFACTURERS AND PRODUCERS SUMMIT OF THE FEDERATION OF PHILIPPINE INDUSTRIES SECRETARY ROSALINDA BALDOZ
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