Manufacturing key to job creation, PH growth – NAST

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Manufacturing spurs growth and creates jobs, including white collar jobs, for the middle and lower classes.

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Thus declared Lilia Ramos Shahani, assistant secretary and communications head of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster Communication, during the 9th Annual Meeting and Scientific Convention of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), an advisory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), held at the PICC last July 8.

According to Shahani, the country’s lack of attention to the manufacturing sector is one of the factors that keep pulling the Philippines away from a progressive economy.

Meanwhile, other countries pour investments into manufacturing, like Thailand and India, thus expanding employment and other economic opportunities for their citizenry and steering themselves closer to higher levels of development.

Shahani further noted that 86 percent of the Philippine economy is dominated by private corporations whose development programs focus on elite consumption and luxury estates rather than on manufacturing.

The challenge therefore, she said, is for governments today to make economic growth inclusive, seeking ways in which to redistribute wealth and have progress felt by all.

Manufacturing’s potential to provide jobs and contribute heavily to economic advancement, tackled in previous NAST meetings and roundtable discussions, forms the core of DOST’s thrust on local industries.

The department aims to provide science and technology (S&T) solutions—such as state-of-the-art facilities—that would allow local industries to be more globally competitive.

In particular, it envisions industry players to move up from mere assembly of parts and components to higher-value services like design and manufacturing, in order to catch up with their foreign counterparts.

To help with these objectives, various fora will be held during the 2014 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) slated from July 24-28 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Among the topics to be featured are emerging technologies, natural dyes, and metals.

NSTW is an annual project of the DOST featuring interactive exhibits, launchings, speed networking sessions, and local inventions, among others. Admission is free.

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