WITH the Philippines known for having flexible and hard working people, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) emphasized that it is not enough that the country is only known for exporting labor, but should focus on having a “trademark” in industries and manufacturing.
Jose Luis Yulo, president of the CCPI, enumerated countries having their own trademark—Switzerland for chocolates, Japan and Germany for technology—saying that the Philippines do not have anything to boast when it comes to industries.
“If you say Filipino, [most of people]will think that it is all about exporting labor force in other countries . . . BPO [business process outsourcing]and OFWs [overseas Filipino workers], yes [we are profiting from those sectors], but to my mind is a form of slavery because you’re doing the jobs that others don’t want,” Yulo said.
“We should find where we should stand out, and have our own trademark in manufacturing,” he added
The country’s most profit-makers are the electronics and BPO sectors as well as the OFWs with BPO sector is the fastest-growing industry in the country—employing 77,000 agents last year—electronics sector who’s one of the top in exports internationally, while the OFWs remits $20 billion annually.
“Ever since the new President [Benigno Aquino 3rd] came in, the economy has been going well because the people trust the government more. The country’s leader who’s not corrupt, and who’s straight in his ideals that’s why we’re inspired to work,” Yulo said.
But he said that the economic achievements of the administration is still lacking, calling to the President that the government should intensify building infrastructure and further establish manufacturing.
“I think that’s not enough. We have to go to manufacturing, to the industry, and I think that will create more jobs because unemployment is still a problem . . . [But] there’s still something wrong in the way we’re implementing the industrial thrust in manufacturing,” Yulo said.
“Our infrastructure is very bad. Roads, airports, seaports . . . if we build these then business will come in. We don’t have industries.
Wealth comes from manufacturing of products and rendering of services. That is what we need to expand: To be able to make things,” he said. Yulo also suggested that the country itself should slowly but further invest in our own projects than borrowing money from several international banks, citing China being a manufacturing powerhouse despite not borrowing from other nations for their industries’ production or development of infrastructure.