The Philippines is fast becoming a regional hub for the manufacture of electronic products and components. Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr recently inaugurated the new electronics factory of Kinpo Electronics Philippines at Lima Technology Center in Lipa City, Batangas. The new facility will manufacture calculators, electronic keyboards and LED lamps.

“New manufacturing facilities in the country represent a strong vote of confidence in our efforts to fast-track reforms and initiatives to attract investments, particularly to further develop our industrial sector.

“Our government’s stable macroeconomic fundamentals and commitment to transparency and good governance has led our country to become one of the fastest growing, most resilient, and increasingly competitive economies in the world. The Kinpo Group has recognized this and seen it fit to set up shop in the Philippines,” Cristobal said.

The Industry Development Program, initiated in 2012 by Cristobal during his term as DTI Undersecretary, positions the Philippines as a regional hub for the assembly of various electronic products or components. “These electronic products are then exported overseas either to other ASEAN economies as part of the regional value chain, or as finished goods for export to both ASEAN and other economies,” Cristobal explained.

Kinpo plans to build another facility at First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP), also in Batangas. It currently employs more than 5,000 workers in the Philippines.  New Kinpo Group CEO and president Yong “Simon” Shen expects to hire 15, 000 workers, once all its future projects in the country are completed. He added Kinpo is currently recruiting qualified Filipino engineers for its new facilities in the country.

Developing and maintaining skilled workers who can support higher value activities is one of the goals identified in the electronics industry roadmap. The roadmap also aims to develop and strengthen local supply chains, which have already been initiated by several manufacturers in the Philippines. With a growing base of components suppliers, the industry will lessen the need to import components from other countries.

The electronics industry roadmap is one of the 40 roadmaps crafted under the IDP.  Complementing the industry roadmaps are the various projects under the Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP) and the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP). Through the MRP, the country seeks to resolve issues that cut across industries, such as those related to the ease of doing business, transport and logistics efficiency, and cost and supply of power.

Statistics indicate that employment in the local electronics industry has been constantly increasing since 2009. In 2014, direct and indirect employment by the sector was registered at 2.8 million.

Export receipts from the Philippine electronics sector have scored consistent growth with total figures cornering 41.8 percent of total Philippine exports in 2014.  The industry has emerged to be the second largest contributor to the Gross Value added (GVA) in the manufacturing sector, which was registered a16.59 percent in 2014.