The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and concerned industrial sectors identified policy reforms issues, administrative bottlenecks and concrete projects for implementation in the country’s manufacturing, copper and chemical sectors.
In the roadmaps for the manufacturing, copper and chemicals sector, the DTI and other involved organizations revealed the initial-, middle- and long-term plans of the three industries.
According to Angel Veloso, chairman of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (Pasar), the short-term plan of the copper industry by 2016 will focus on development and operation of “one or two world-class copper mines,” as well as reviving investor interest in copper wire production and conducting downstream activities such as studies and research to further explore the potentials of the industry.
For the medium term or by 2022, expansion is seen by the copper industry. Pasar projected that by that year, world-class copper mines have “attained full production capacity” and new mines will also be developed. Besides mines, copper rod-making plants will be opened and fully operational as well.
By the long term or 2030, the industry targets full integration of the industry from mining raw copper materials to manufacturing products.
Production of copper cooperatives is also seen to grow from the targeted 700,000 metric tons (MT) of copper a year to 1.1 million MT by 2022, then to 1.5 million MT by 2030.
On the other hand, the chemicals industry, through the Samahan ng Pilipinas ng mga Industriyang Kimika (SPIK), has drafted their roadmap, mostly looking into exports and becoming a major player in Southeast Asia.
For the short term, the chemical industry envisions the Philippines as a “strong country” with petrochemical integration and $5 billion in exports.
The group also projects the Philippines to be the lead chemicals exporter in the region by 2022, and be one of the prime chemicals exporters across the globe by 2030.
Oscar Melencio of SPIK said that the industry is experiencing a push because of the ease of doing business in the country, advances in science and technology, and workforce productivity, as well as the innovations provided by the government through the Department of Science and Technology.
Melencio also said that the industry will push for further implementation of the Responsible Care (RC) program as applied in other 60 countries. The RC program guides the industry players in safety, quality and environmental concerns on production operations.
Last but not least, the manufacturing sector roadmap is focused on the improvement of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and for the country hosting “hubs in production networks” of key industries like automobiles, electronics, machineries, garments and food.
The manufacturing roadmap, which was made by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, will look more on innovations in manufacturing, academe linkages and network to improve operations and the solution to the problems hampering the country’s manufacturing sector.
The short-term plan called Phase One, which will cover 2014 to 2017, will be devoted to “rebuilding of existing industries, strengthen emerging industries and maintain competitiveness” of advantageous industries.
Phase Two, covering 2018 to 2021, will upgrade value-added activities, investments and upstream industries and establish networks and industrial linkages. Meanwhile, Phase Three, which will be implemented from 2022 to 2025, will market the Philippines as hubs in production for industries like automobiles, electronics, machinery, garments and food.
Some 20 industries are integrated in the manufacturing roadmap, which include—autoparts; biodiesel; cement; ceramic tiles; electric vehicles; furniture; information technology-business processing management; iron and steel; mass housing; metalcasting; motorcycles and motorcycle parts; motor vehicles; paper; petrochemicals; plastics; rubber products; and tools and die.
The manufacturing roadmap also promotes investments, MSMEs and skills development, technology upgrading and government coordination.
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said that the government is looking into the revision of Executive Order 61, tariff divisions and “new incentives regime,” in line with the roadmaps to encourage investors in sectoral industries to further invest and look at manufacturing in the Philippines.
He also pointed out that the Philippines mostly failed to industrialize because it was “complacent.”
“We cannot be complacent anymore and think that we are protective in our own markets. Because we are not,” Domingo added.
He said that other markets are also opening investment opportunities for the Philippines, which brings “balance” to economic activities within and outside the country.
“There is no doubt that the country’s economy will continue to grow . . . roadmaps are the key ingredient to sustainable growth. Roadmaps should be meaningful for the industries themselves also to guide us in the policy making projects,” Domingo further said.