September 5, 2019
MANILA – A speedy implementation of public works towards the second semester of 2019 is seen to prop up demand and help boost the country’s manufacturing growth, said the National Economic and Development Authority.
In the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the manufacturing sector’s output continued to remain in the negative territory for July 2019.
The Volume of Production Index (VoPI) declined by 8.1 percent while the Value of Production Index (VaPI) decreased by 7.3 percent in July 2019. This is the seventh consecutive month in 2019 that the volume and value indices are on the decline.
The weak performance of construction-related manufactures — including heavily weighted petroleum products, electrical machinery, non-metallic minerals, and basic metals — accounted for much of the decline in manufacturing output.
NEDA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning and currently Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Rosemarie G. Edillon said that the decline on the construction-related manufactures reflected the slowdown in government spending on infrastructure since the first semester of 2019.
“The slowdown on the implementation of infrastructure projects in the first semester of 2019 contributed to the weak performance of manufacturing sector. There is a need to accelerate public works spending to prop up demand for construction-related infrastructure,” she said.
Edillon added that to ensure sustained construction activity, expediting the approval of permits and requirements for construction-related projects is vital.
“These initiatives are necessary for us to meet our infrastructure targets. However, this semester might be challenging for construction activities as unfavorable weather conditions may cause disruptions,” she said.
She also calls for the passage of a national quality infrastructure (NQI) bill, which highlights the need for uniform product standards, testing protocol and accessible testing infrastructure to facilitate the access of MSMEs to global value chains. This must be coupled with capacity-building programs on product standards and quality assurance.
MISSI is a report that monitors the production, net sales, inventories, and capacity utilization of selected manufacturing establishments to provide flash indicators on the performance of the manufacturing sector.
Edillon is OIC while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia is on leave.