By Chino S. Leyco
The country’s factory output declined for its tenth consecutive month this year last October, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed yesterday.
According to the PSA, the volume of production index (VoPI) in October declined by 3.7 percent while the value of production index (VaPI) was also 4.3 percent lower compared with same month last year.
But Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro noted that there is still hope the anemic manufacturing’s performance would recover in the coming months.
Navarro cited that business and consumer outlook remains positive with the anticipation of higher consumer spending during the holiday season, a much favorable macroeconomic condition, and a likely recovery in government spending on infrastructure.
She further explained the extension in the validity of the 2019 national budget and the timely passage of the 2020 general appropriations Act are needed to sustain the implementation of construction-related activities and help drive growth in the manufacturing sector.
“The extension in the validity of the 2019 budget is important not just for the construction of infrastructure projects but also for critical pre-feasibility, feasibility, and other project development studies,” Navarro said.
Furthermore, she said that accelerating the implementation of the infrastructure development programs and continued investment on human capital development in the remaining months of 2019 is critical to achieve the national government’s targeted disbursement.
“We are glad that the Department of Public Works and Highways and other infrastructure-focused agencies, the Department of Education, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development have signified commitment to accelerate their respective disbursements for the rest of the year,” Navarro said.
The official also said that fast tracking the passage of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act, and the proposed amendments on the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Trade Act are highly supported to help eliminate policy uncertainties and enable investment and business expansions in the country.