Despite strong demand globally, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Foundation Inc. (SEIPI) has kept its original 7 percent exports growth forecast this year, taking into consideration the impact of the strict lockdowns in the country and the ASEAN region.
SEIPI Chairman Glenn Everett announced at the virtual SEIPI Q3 General Membership Meeting “Recovery on the Horizon: Igniting the Industry and Economy through Innovation and Policy Reforms” that the Board of Trustees evaluated the condition of the semiconductors electronics industry here in the Philippines at their last board meeting, and had a consensus of 7 percent growth forecast for the year. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was looking forward to an upward adjustment in the growth goal of the industry, the country’s largest export accounting for more than 60 percent of total.
“So, you know there’s great demand. But, you know the strict lockdowns have caused the impacts that reduce the potential,” said Everett.
He, however, expressed hope that as conditions improve restrictions will reduce “We will be able to live up to a larger potential.”
Everett noted of generally high demand that implies strong growth, especially on emerging technologies in more specific areas that are unfolding in the industry as a result of the pandemic.
For instance, he cited that video conferencing statistics for 2021, which projected to reach an annual growth rate of 12 percent globally from now to 2026. This specific area could exceed $9 billion by 2026.
The pandemic has brought learning into the digital classrooms around the world and this new normal is likely to remain. This was made possible by 5G networks and other improvements to connectivity, fueling a rapid rate, he said.
Also the ongoing pandemic showed the huge potential of telehealth technologies for the first time. Doctors were supporting people remotely, he said. This large sector is already large, he said, is expected to grow 20 percent annually to as high as $5.5 trillion.
Because of AI, development of new applications in almost every industry devices and applications that combine real and virtual reality are also expected to grow by 83 percent per year.
“These are just some of the specific areas that are largely affected by the pandemic,” he said.
Year to date, the country’s electronics industry exports reached $22.01 billion, an improved 21 percent from 2020. This was 61.3 percent of the $35.9 billion total Philippine commodity exports.
To address the legislative and regulatory concerns of the industry, SEIPI President Dan Lachica said they are working with various policymakers and government agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).
Their efforts have contributed to the deferment of BIR Revenue Regulation No. 9-2021, and the relaxation of the parameters in the DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08 to 1 mg/L Total Copper.
Currently, SEIPI is also pushing towards the full repeal of BIR RR No. 9-2021, the extension of the moratorium on DAO No. 2016-08, and the resolution of various ports and logistics complaints.
SEIPI’s electronics roadmap, in collaboration with DTI and Department of Science and Technology, is a work in progress. DOST
Bicutan shall be the prospective site of the SEIPI Science and Technology Center (SSTC), a significant component of the roadmap that will complement the R&D capability of Region IV-A.
Additionally, SEIPI is also working on the SSTC feasibility study to be submitted to the DOST-Advanced
Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).
IC Design, a growth industry for the Philippines, is being pushed by SEIPI’s own IC Design Cluster
consisting of industry and academe members. IC Design will move the semiconductor sector up in
the global value chain. The establishment of an IC Design Training Laboratory will expedite the training of faculty, students and engineers in integrated circuit verification, layout, and design.
The Industry 4.0 TWG will guide the progress of the industry towards digital transformation. It will help facilitate the overall competitiveness of the electronics sector by driving Industry 4.0 adoption consistent and relevant to the DOST electronics roadmap and DTI’s I3S (Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy) master plan. The TWG is organizing a campaign that will encourage industry members to use Smart Manufacturing technologies.
SEIPI’s Sector Skill Council (SSC), which is a deliverable of A Future that Works (AFW) project with Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is involved with the conduct of focus group discussions (FGD) and Key Informant Interviews (KII) for the Labor Market Intelligence (LMI) study among the academe, industry, and government agencies. The FGDs aim to assess and analyze the semiconductor sectoral labor market.