“I think we have to be selective about the projects that we want to put as priority so we could attract investments the likes of artificial intelligence. I don’t know which area they are focusing in, but definitely we have to look at industries that are knowledge-based,” PCCI President George T. Barcelon said in a phone interview yesterday, adding that Philippine wages have become competitive vis-a-vis its Southeast Asian peers Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Educational and research-based industries related to science and technology are not included in the current list of preferred businesses. According to the IPP 2014-2016 guidelines, the preferred businesses are in manufacturing, agribusiness and fishery, services, economic and low-cost housing, hospitals, energy, public infrastructure and logistics, and public-private partnership projects.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the details of the review are still unavailable, adding that the agency is still working on the basic framework in consultation with different stakeholders.

“I can talk of the framework muna (first), we’ll have to sit down and do more consultations before we can, because the answer to that will depend on the feedback,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a joint luncheon meeting on Aug. 25.

Mr. Lopez stressed the need for direct interventions in poor communities, aside from just including least developed areas in the IPP.

“You want to create first the economic activity,” the Trade chief said.

“The bigger, and hopefully a richer consumer base, you know more economic activities from the bottom rather than tatayo doon tapos wala pang market (we would build there then there would be no market).”□

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