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He stressed the need for a well-resourced industrial policy and for incentives to be scaled up to create jobs in sectors that were struggling such as steel, metals, chemicals etc.In his briefing to parliament's committee on trade and industry, Davies also stated that the department’s industrial policy interventions had had a positive effect on the performance of manufacturing but had not been able to act on scale and counteract all the headwinds facing the sector.Various stakeholders in both government and the private sector are looking for ways to soften the impact of the looming 6-month closure of popular tourist spot Boracay Island.
He noted that a significant amount of the speech dealt with work that the department would have to undertake.
This related specifically to economic recovery, the promotion of export led growth particularly to the African continent, localisation and investment.
Gross manufacturing value amounted to 12.3% of total economic gross value added in 2017 compared with 14.3% in 1994.
Manufacturing employment had fallen, but was now stable.
This is what we’ll ask for,” he said, noting that the funds would be tapped for various services such as livelihood training and providing market access.
But even before the fund is released, Lopez said DTI would tap some funds from the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), a financing program for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises on the island.This would lead to surplus of energy, the cost of which would be passed on to consumers in Aklan, Antique and Capiz.“That would be an unconscionable burden to put on Visayan power consumers, who already have to suffer through high power rates during the summer,” said Gatchalian, noting this would result in a total of P178 million in additional charges in the next six months.The department’s localisation programme and the designation of local products for government procurement had had beneficial effects where it was fully implemented but Davies conceded that there had been massive leakage through fraud, corruption and state capture.More localisation designations were in the pipeline, he said, and enforcement would be strengthened by working with the auditor-general and through partnerships with business and labour.To address this, the senator urged Akelco to invoke force majeure in its long-term power supply agreements (PSAs) with various generation companies, which would allow the firm to temporarily keep from acting on its obligations in cases beyond its control.“Clearly, the complete closure of Boracay is an unforeseeable event completely beyond the control of Akelco.Measures taken to assist the steel industry for example had averted a disastrous de-industrialisation of the sector.The minister conceded that the department’s industrial policy had not been successful in placing value-added production and manufacturing at the heart of a higher economic growth trajectory but neither had there been continuous de-industrialisation.He said global economic growth was expected to be lower this year than in 2018, growing at 3.5% compared to 3.7% in 2018 and 3.6% in 2020.This downward revision was due to downside risks such as the trade war between China and the US, the economic slowdown in those two countries, uncertainty over Brexit and diverging growth trends in the EU.