03 April 2019
Senate bet bats for “industrial and logistics policy” to generate jobs for new grads;
7-month low in manufacturing growth, alarming – De Guzman
Labor Senate bet Leody De Guzman calls for legislation for a “logistics and industrial policy” to address the country’s manufacturing woes, citing the latest IHS Markit/Nikkei survey report of a 7th-month low in manufacturing growth.
The survey found that the seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a weighted index representing output, employment, orders, inventories, and other measures of manufacturing performance, dropped from 51.9 in February to 51.5 in March, following reports of port congestion in Manila.
“This is an alarming statistic, considering that the ‘Build Build Build’ initiative should have increased demand for the manufacturing sector specially with the hundreds of thousands who recently graduated and has officially entered the country’s labor pool, on top of the steady increase in the number of unemployed,” De Guzman said.
Official income accounts of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier reported a deceleration in manufacturing growth in 2018, with 4th quarter growth hitting 3.2 percent compared to 7.9 percent at the same quarter in 2017.
“Amid the election noise, the government should follow through with the President’s rhetoric of national industrialization and begin the process of developing a clear industrial policy that will generate jobs for our new graduates and invigorate the local economy,” the sole Partido Lakas ng Masa candidate said.
Revamp DTI Charter, GOCC Code, LGC
De Guzman also scored the “Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy” or the i3S program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), insisting that the program is “toothless unless major reforms are made in the DTI charter and the GOCC governance act".
“If we won’t remove the straitjacket on the DTI and government corporations, then all we can promote are small-scale businesses and we will be forever relegated to a small-economy status,” De Guzman said.
The labor leader calls for revisions in the DTI charter under Book IV, Title X of the Executive Order 292 or Revised Administrative Code of 1987 to give the agency more powers to “promote and regulate industry via import substitution strategies and direct subsidies to industrial champions.”
De Guzman clarified, "Hangga't ang ating bansa ay nakatuon bilang exporter ng isang global assembly line at umaasa sa importasyon para sa ating pangangailangan, hindi uunlad ang bansa. Dapat pinag-aaralan kung anong mga produkto at serbisyo ang kaya at kakayanin nating likhain upang dito ituon ang suporta. Imbes na inaangkat natin ang naturang mga pangangailangan, likhain ang kondisyon para sila ay likhain”.
He added that, “At kung dadami pa at uunlad pa ang kalidad ng trabaho, kung saan krusyal na usapin ang sahod at benepisyo ng kanilang mga manggagawa, ang mga produkto at serbisyong ito ay hindi na lamang para sa domestic market kundi para sa pandaigdigang merkado".
De Guzman also called for revisions in the Republic Act 10149, so as to promote “creating government-owned corporations that act as pace-setters in innovative industries such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech agriculture, and artificial intelligence”.
"Hindi tayo kinakapos sa skilled workers para sa mga makabagong mga teknolohiya. Katunayan, sa iba't ibang manupaktura sa maraming bansa, matatagpuan doon ang ating mga OFW," he continued.
Finally, De Guzman called tweaking the Local Government Code (LGC) so as to mandate Local Government Units (LGU) to draft “local industrial plans” on top Comprehensive Development Plans (CDP) and Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP) they are currently required to produce.###