This being the last week of a very eventful 2020 we look back at this last year and view 2021 with hope and continued vigilance. We will carry with us the learnings and take stock of reforms and innovations which will help build strength and resilience.
We may see accelerated online transactions, sales marketing efforts, transactions and meetings, which can allow us to reach more people with less time and cost. We will also see more homebased and online business sprouting especially in the rural areas. We just need to be careful about those who abuse such as platforms and channels.
We hope to see more manufacturing investments near the source of raw materials in new industrial zones in regions like Mindanao. This will accelerate growth and create jobs and local opportunities in the countryside. This will also develop supply of essential goods we need.
As i have written in previous columns, these manufacturing opportunities can create new markets for resources and agricultural commodities in Mindanao, such as its growing acao and coffee sector and the coconut sector, of which Mindanao’s regions are the biggest suppliers.
This can help support the current modernization drive in agriculture, which includes credit and financial support,machinery but also the creation of better logistics arrangements like the Department of griculture’s Kadiwa express system and the deployment of infrastructure such as cold storage, processing and bagsakan type facilities such as the ones that broke ground and are planned in various areas. This brings the farm to market more quickly, empowering both producers and consumers through online platforms.
A clear enabler in this regard is improved logistics and the digital economy, with projects of the DA and Department of Trade and Industry such as Deliver E, which creates the necessary online linkage between buyers and sellers. Private sector-led online logistics and trading platforms will also improve trade and logistics, making it convenient to source local suppliers, growers, and processors of various commodities around the country. We hope these continue and care expanded in 2021.
Moreover, recent reforms such as the 40% discount mandated by the Maritime Industry Authority on 12% cargo space on vessels creates an opportunity for agricultural logistics, particularly products from Mindanao.
The emerging startup Philippines
Recent news in the Manila Bulletin reports that the Philippine Venture Capital Report released by Foxmont Capital Partners on emerging start-ups are particularly encouraging, with the country rising in startup ranking, taking in $183.3 million in investments in the first half of 2020, way better than the $37.9 million gained for 2019. sign.(https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/08/ph-rises-in-global-startup-ecosystem/). Many of these startup companies include those in the financial technology (Fintech) and the software sector. As investments in startups come in, this hopefully brings more regional level startup enterprises to the forefront of innovation, creating more new jobs in many areas.
These local startups can create and build the technology needed for both private sector and public agencies to engage digitalized procedures.
We celebrate a milestone in our economic planning agency, the National Economic and Development Authority. We wish this important agency the best as it is at the forefront of regional development initiatives and plans for the future. Recent podcasts of NEDA Acting Secretary Chua have been very interesting.
Those interested in our Pollution Control Officers Training can log on to https://www.facebook.com/ECITrainingDivision. The next training is on January 25-29.
As we continue to hope, we remain vigilant by observing the required health protocols in public and in the workplace. Let us happily welcome the new year with hope!