IN this time of fast economic growth, there are industries which are doing well — known as sunshine industries — and industries which are on the decline — known as sunset industries.
By President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s reckoning, there are more than 20 industries which can expect to continue on their growth path in the short to medium term.
In his State of the Nation Address on July 22, Aquino said that the government would focus on “inclusive growth” until the end of his term in 2016, and that his administration would support the industries that will give more employment to the people.
The first of the sunrise industries seen to improve and create more jobs are the information technology (IT) and business processing management (BPM) sectors.
According to Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, “a lot of investors” are lining up, inquiring to put up businesses with the majority in the IT and BPM sectors, as the country recorded 71.3-percent investor confidence increase.
“Information technology, business process management and manufacturing are the main sectors of interest of these visiting firms [doing trade missions in the country],” Manalo said, referring to countries mostly the United States and European nations exploring other possible markets — particularly Asian nations -— to put up their enterprises.
According to Manalo, manufacturing is also included in the long list of sunrise industries, although the country still has a long way to go compared to manufacturing giants like China in terms of increased productivity and having cheaper labor.
The 9.7 percent growth in the first half of the year only shows that the government is focusing on the revival of the manufacturing sector. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that they are engaging in ways to revive the industry, as well as allotting double expenditures for the rise in manufacturing and infrastructure.
The construction sector is also seen as a sunshine industry in the near future. With the government’s campaign to push for the country’s infrastructure to be able to generate businesses and jobs in the country, the industry is projected to experience double digit growth as investments grow and urbanization is encouraged—not only in the Metro areas, but also in the provinces especially in the Next Wave Cities identified as next hub of development in the regions.
Following the construction sector are the energy and automotive sectors. Foreign businessmen, even state agencies and organizations, engage in public-private partnership programs that mostly fall on construction and energy projects to be completed by 2015 or 2016, or even after the end of the Aquino administration’s term in 2016.
For the energy sector, the country has recorded a total of19 energy projects by the first half of the year, worth P159 billion, which is expected to generate 2,064 megawatt power mostly to address the power cuts and shortages in the provinces.
Apparently, these sunrise industries are derived from massive investment influx of foreign businesses coming in, having foreign investment commitment to reach a 357-percent ascent in the first half of the year. But locally, the investment pledges made by the local entrepreneurs in the country declined by 0.2 percent.
Manalo also said that even the aerospace and shipbuilding industries have drawn interest from investors overseas and are both poised to be sunrise industries as well.
Jose Luis Yulo Jr., president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI), said that the shipbuilding and aerospace sectors are likely to be sunshine industries given investor interest, at the same time “to bridge the islands of the Philippines.”
The Trade depatment said that they are also pushing for the agriculture, agri-business, and housing industry sector. Though these areas are declining, Yulo said that the agriculture sector will not be labeled as a sunset industry as “agriculture is needed for food sufficiency and security but must be upgraded and made more profitable for farmers.”
According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, the Philippine Development Plan for 2011 to 2016 is geared towards reviving and expanding “employment generating sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, IT-BPM, agri-business and housing industries.”
Meanwhile, Yulo also explained that the sunset industries of the country at present are those that “require no skills” and “those that require cheap labor like the garments” as these industries will not be able to stand against other nations that lead in manufacturing because of their cheap labor costs.
“I hate to believe there are declining industries [as there are]only declining will, dedication and commitment. The Filipino or anyone for that matter can achieve whatever they like as long as they are dedicated, disciplined, consistent and smart. Education is badly needed [for the country’s development],” Yulo said.