Senator Sonny Angara is calling for more support for local industries, with particular focus on diversification in order to boost exports and help the growth of the local economy.

Presiding over the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) briefing on the proposed 2020 national budget as chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Angara noted how Philippine exports, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining.

While the Philippines is expected to remain as one of the fastest growing economies in the region, the veteran legislator said there is still more room for growth and expanding the country’s exports basket would be a contributing factor.

The seasoned lawmaker told the President’s economic managers that one of the ways to boost exports is to focus on innovation so that the different regions of the country would be able to diversify its products and cater to an even bigger market globally.

“We have to take a look at what we are providing as support for local industries.

“Support for our local industries must be improved and we must continue developing new products.”

Thailand for instance is now producing wine. This is not something anyone would have expected from a country in our region and yet it is now making a name for itself among wine connoisseurs,” the senator said.

“Support for our local industries must be improved and we must continue developing new products in order to compete with the rest of the region and the world,” he added.

The Philippines spending on innovation is less than one percent of GDP and in order for the country to produce more top-tier products, Angara said more attention should be placed on this endeavor.

Asian countries such as China, Singapore, Japan and South Korea are among the top performers as far as spending on innovation is concerned.

“We don’t have to come up with high-tech goods in order to make our mark in the world stage.”

As a result, they have been producing more top-tier products that have become household names across the globe.

“We don’t have to come up with high-tech goods in order to make our mark in the world stage. We just need to continuously improve on what we already have, innovate and market these creatively to carve out a niche across various sectors,” he said.

Angara has been advocating for an all-out Tatak Pinoy (Made in the Philippines) campaign as a way to improve the country’s economic productivity and competitiveness, generate more decent jobs for Filipinos, particularly those in the countryside, and eradicate chronic poverty and inequality in the country.

At the start of the 18th Congress, he filed Senate Resolution No. 4 to look into the formulation and sustained implementation of a Tatak Pinoy industrialization campaign and policy.

“We need to develop strategies on how to develop local industries so that they can generate higher incomes,” Angara said.

“We can’t just focus on agriculture alone. If all your eggs are in the agricultural basket, patay ka agad pag tumama ang El Niño, ng bagyo. That is why we have to diversify,” he added.

The next DBCC briefing is set for September 5, 2019 and shortly after, the committee hearings on the P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 will commence.


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