News - 121219_NWS_ManufacturingSummit2019

MAKATI CITY – The DTI is in the thick of preparations to revitalize manufacturing & embrace Industry 4.0, as it surges forward with its flagship industrial strategy which it introduced in 2016, the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy or i3S.

Speaking at the recently held Manufacturing Summit 2019, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez provided a detailed picture of the Philippine manufacturing sector’s performance since 2013. While the country’s manufacturing sector exhibited a slowdown in growth in the recent quarters of this year due mostly to the US-China Trade War overall global slowdown in growth, and rising global protectionism, he pointed out that looking at the bigger picture, Philippine manufacturing has been growing at a respectable rate, with manufacturing share-to-GDP remaining almost unchanged for the past few years. “Despite (the slowdown), we are enjoying fast growth due to domestic demand,” Trade Secretary Lopez declared.

“The bright spot is, our investments continue to grow,” Secretary Lopez mentioned, as he noted that significant increases in approved manufacturing investments were expected to expand production capacities, address supply chains gaps, and improve Global Value Chain Participation. Data shows that IPA-approved investments in 2016-2018 were at Php 730B, 57.3% higher than during the period 2013-2015. Moreover, growth in Board of Investments – approved manufacturing investments increased 8-fold: from 82% in 2016, it grew to 95% in 2017 then zoomed to 327% in 2018.

In order to revitalize Philippine manufacturing towards a sustainable and inclusive industrial development, Secretary Lopez laid down plans to address growth constraints and leverage government support. These include: HR development to upskill workers and increase productivity; small value chain interventions to address raw materials shortage; incentivizing energy technologies to help bring down power cost; logistics interventions to cut down red tape and standardize shipping cost; and countering unfair trade practices including smuggling and substandard and counterfeit goods through mandatory product certification.

He also gave the audience a peek at industry 4.0 readiness initiatives that the DTI is planning to do to prepare firms, industries, and workers for the future. These include the SME academy as training facility for 4IR technologies to upskill and reskill our workforce to be 4IR-ready; positioning the Philippines as an AI Center of Excellence; Industry 4.0 roadmaps for specific sectors, and an Industry 4.0 pilot factory to serve as a demonstration facility. “We have to increase domestic capacity to support the growing demand of our economy. We should be prepared,” Sec Lopez reiterated. “There is a need to revitalize the manufacturing sector. This is the sector that can create more jobs, better income for our Filipinos.” Sec Lopez concluded.♦

Date of Release: 12 December 2019