Manufacturing + Basic Sectors = Growth for All

Dec 5, 2011
Federation of Philippine Industries Chairman Emeritus and Resins Inc. President Meneleo J. Carlos, Jr. stressed that the basic sectors of the Philippines such as agriculture, forestry and marine resources must be provided the “elbow room to develop” with the help of the manufacturing sectors, thus giving them the chance to “rise from their poverty levels” and achieving the “principal objective of providing inclusive growth or growth for all.”

Mr. Carlos, who delivered the closing remarks at the First Philippine Manufacturers and Producers Summit organized by FPI last November 24 at the Intercontinental Manila in Makati City, said that the summit has shown how linkages between manufacturers and basic sectors have “produced the inclusive growth that has characterized the economies of Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Manufacturing + Basic Sectors = Growth for All(content)

Mr. Carlos observed that in Thailand, the farmers, with the support of government and industry, operate profitably and are able to buy pickup trucks, creating a demand that in turn supports much of Thailand’s automotive industry.

He said that in order for the Church, business and government to effectively address the call for inclusive growth, BBC saw the need to consult some of the basic sectors of the society, such as the farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, urban poor and labor.

Among the speakers were Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, Makati Business Club Chairman Ramon R. del Rosario Jr. and Asian Institute of Management Professor Mario Antonio G. Lopez.

Sec. Balisacan cited the government’s social contract emphasizing the need for transparent and participatory governance, poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor, inclusive and sustained economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Mr. Carlos has long manifested his support for the basic sectors, among them forestry. As FPI Chairman Emeritus, he has played an active role in pushing for the enactment of the Sustainable Forest Management bill and the institution of tenurial rights for impoverished upland farmers, as well as expressed support for the Aquino administration’s National Greening Program.

Through Resins Inc. subsidiary Claveria Tree Nursery Inc., he has promoted the use of fast-growing clone trees to spur wood production, help alleviate poverty and contribute to mitigating climate change.

He also lauded the Department of Trade Industry for “structuring itself to address the challenges of the basic sector, the manufacturing sector, and the infrastructure and services sector.” He said this move was an “essential first step” towards addressing the diverse issues involving each of these critical sectors.

Earlier, Mr. Carlos appeared on the NBN-4 talk show BizNews TV with FPI Director Bobby F. Batungbacal of Dow Chemicals to help promote the summit. Mr. Carlos noted that while manufacturing constitutes only around 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, which is below its share in manufacturing powerhouses like China, Malaysia and Thailand, “there’s a lot of opportunity for us to achieve 30% of GDP. The basic sector is still there. Take the basic sector, add value to it, create more wealth, and distribute it to the people.

The optimism of Mr. Carlos about manufacturing reflects his continuing faith in the Filipino. As he stated last year in an interview by Manuel del Rosario of ExpressLife: “The Filipino per se is a winner; that is not to be discussed or debated. Our biggest winner is our human capital … We also have land, seas and forests. We just haven’t utilized them well.”