• Govt boosting manufacturing sector to create more jobs

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    WITH job creation having lagged the pace of economic growth in the country, the government plans to give the manufacturing sector a shot in the arm to quicken employment generation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

    The manufacturing sector accounted for 2.3-million jobs last year, up by 1.5 percent from the previous year, DTI Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal said during the Philippine Economic Briefing on Tuesday at PICC.

    Average growth of the manufacturing sector accelerated from 2.4 percent in the period 2005-2009 to 7.9 percent in the period 2010-2013. Growth accelerated further in the first half of 2014 to 8.8 percent.

    With the continuation of government finance programs and technical assistance, Cristobal said, the manufacturing sector is expected to generate even more jobs in the years ahead.

    Investment reports from the Board of Investments (BOI) and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) show that total approved investments amounted to P393.6 billion from January to August 2014, with 541 projects approved and 107,639 jobs expected to be generated.

    Investment commitments from domestic sources reached P328 billion, or 83 percent of the total investment approvals, while the remaining 17 percent or P66 billion came from foreign sources.

    According to the DTI, the top five industries are electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning supply; real estate activities; manufacturing; construction; accommodation and food service activities.

    Some 41 percent or P162 billion of the BOI-PEZA approved investments are intended to fund projects in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply.

    Real estate activities ranked second with a share of 25 percent or P98 billion, while manufacturing ranked third with a 14 percent share or P55 billion.

    Top prospective investing countries from January to August 2014 include Japan, the Cayman Islands, Netherlands, British Virgin Islands, and the USA.

    Japan topped the list, committing P13.6 billion or 21 percent of the total BOI-PEZA approved investments while Cayman Islands and the Netherlands came next, accounting  for 15 percent  or P10 billion, and 14 percent or P9 billion, respectively.

    Major power projects approved include: St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., GNPower Kauswagan Ltd. Co., Panay Energy Development Corp., Emerging Power Inc., Prime Meridian Powergen Corp., and Agusan Power Corp. Inc.

    In line with the DTI program to increase and strengthen investment growth, there are 29 sectoral roadmaps or Industry Development Programs/Industry Roadmaps to date, 24 of which are considered final and five submitted as drafts.

    Twenty-two sectoral roadmaps are still being developed and are expected to be completed in 2014 or early 2015.

    Sectors with finalized roadmaps include: aerospace, automotive, automotive parts, biodiesel, cement, ceramic tiles, chemicals, copper and copper products, electric vehicle, electronics, furniture, iron and steel, IT-BPM, manufacturing, mass housing, metalcasting, motorcycle, natural health products, petrochemicals, plastics, pulp and paper, retirement industry, rubber products and tool and die
    BOI held four Trade and Industry Development (TID) updates on the Industry Development Roadmaps Initiative to serve as a platform for government to listen to industry stakeholders.

    The private sector endorsed three more sectoral roadmaps to the DTI—aerospace, retirement, and jewelry.

    Meanwhile, DTI assisted eight outbound missions to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France and the US.
    Also, the DTI assisted 139 inbound missions, bringing in 352 companies/organizations from across the globe to explore investment opportunities in the Philippines.

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