Encouraging numbers, continued vigilance


John Tria John Tria

Some encouraging numbers were released this week pointing the way to our economic recovery.

The good news from the Philippine Statistics Authority is that our unemployment and underemployment rates have eased to 8.7% from the July 10% and underemployment down to 14% in October from 17.3% in July. Having more Filipinos in the workforce is good for the economy since it boosts consumption, which in turn supports other businesses and employment, particularly food production. At the same time, inflation at 3.2% in November is within the government's target range of 2-4%. (https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/03/unemployment-rate-eases-to-8-7-in-oct/)

Looking forward to 2021, many businesses are developing means to build their resilience and we wish them all the best. In the latest IBM Institute for Business Value Survey of top executives, 51% of them polled reported that they will be pursuing digital transformation.

Making this as an investment priority will allow more efficient business operations, target more online sales and effective work from home arrangements towards resilience and recovery. The CREATE bill, will provide much needed lower taxes to help many companies invest in recovery. (https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/01/big-help-for-businesses/)

As encouraging numbers come in, we continue to be vigilant in following health protocols to prevent workplace infections.

 On the coconut Industry

I share the sentiment of many in pushing innovations and technologies to modernize and further develop our coconut industry. Modernizing will create more downstream industries are what will unleash the potential of this "tree of life". Being the largest employer of agriworkers and farmers at 3.5 million, it deserves this boost in order to create local employment and reduce rural poverty.

With improved road networks in recent years, access to increased credit, and new intercropping and semiprocessing technologies available, this largest farming sector can contribute to the growth of many provinces.

Moreover, more downstream industries will allow farms to obtain other buyers and improve buying prices, encouraging semi processing of coconut near the farm to create more local employment for coconut farming families.

The downstream manufacturing industries for local or export are in the production of coconut milk, powder, virgin coconut oil, activated carbon used in face masks, biodiesel, oleochamicals to make soap in Mindanao’s newindustrial estates can sprout with incentives and lower taxes that a CREATE Law can bring.

Landbank and Da roll out more assistance

Its a good thing the Land Bank of the Philippines is rolling our more assistance to farmers and agribusiness enterprises. In a recent MB article, Bank President Cecilia Borromeo reported that around 2.5 million farmers and various agribased enterprises were assisted with financing worth 230 Billion. These via direct lending, subsidies and training. These will drive more investments in agriculture towards being stronger in 2021.

At the same time, the Department of Agriculture plan to build cold storage and meat processing facilities in Pampanga, Batangas, and Davao will help many swine farmers, and possibly produce mechanically deboned meat for our local meat processors and canneries.

Upcoming webinars!

 The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the North Sulawesi Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be holding a webinar on on December 10, 2020, Thursday, 2 p.m. on opportunities in strengthening trade between Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, and Davao. For inquiries, look up Davao Chamber on Facebook.

An online Pollution Control Officers Training Course will be held on December 14-19 and Environmental Training for Managing Heads on December 21 via Zoom. Please call 09985777593 to reserve.

Stay safe everyone! facebook.com/johntriapage