MIMAROPA to pursue manufacturing and tourism to boost and sustain regional economic growth

The Region IV-B or MIMAROPA (for Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) will pursue manufacturing and tourism sectoral activities to boost and sustain regional economic growth. This was brought up during the back to back event of the “Industry Roadmaps and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Game Plan: Regional Roadmaps for Competitiveness” and the “Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) 2014-2016” on October 15-16, 2015 at The Legend Hotel, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The forum was conducted jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investments (BOI).

DTI Region IV-B Regional Director Joel B. Valera in his Welcome Address said that the region is well known for its thriving tourism industry. In fact, its called the “Destination of Choice”. But to sustain the tourism sector, there should be industries to support it. Specifically, this is agro-processing or the manufacturing of agricultural products.”

“We need to have a good program to support our food processing industry in order for us to be competitive with our ASEAN neighbors. The Industry Roadmapping Program (IDP) can provide the needed assessments and plan of action to address the supply and value chain gaps of the sector,” Valera said.

According to the NEDA Regional Development Plan, the MIMAROPA is rich with agriculture, fishery and forestry resources but products are traded in neighboring regions as raw materials and at low value. If utilized for inputs for manufacturing and agro processing as well support for tourism, these products would ultimately contribute to the Region’s faster and more equitable growth.

Region IV B’s agriculture products include coconut, banana, cashew, palay, corn, kalamansi and mango.

“In order for us to maximize the opportunities in AEC and the European Union, we should be constantly improving our efforts to enhance our competitiveness,” DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said.

“By identifying interventions and initiatives to upgrade our industries and MSMEs and strengthening the competitiveness of our regional economies, we can make our country’s economic growth more sustainable and inclusive,” Aldaba added.

“We cannot leapfrog industrialization, we need to upgrade and transform our industries. Through a new industrial policy, we can make our industries competitive and create an environment conducive to private sector development. This could lead to more investments, more and better jobs, sustainable and inclusive growth“, Aldaba emphasized.

About 150 stakeholders from the region’s five provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan attended the first day of the back to back conference.

In 2012, the preparation of sectoral roadmaps was initiated under the IDP by the DTI and the BOI in close partnerships with the private sector. With the government’s strategic shift towards industry development, the DTI has taken a more proactive role in implementing the country’s industrial policy which envisions globally competitive and innovative industry and services sectors that will contribute to the country’s goal of inclusive growth. Towards this end, under the IDP, focus is placed on the implementation of the Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP) and the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program. As of October 2015, there are thirty five (35) sectoral roadmaps developed, 29 of which are complete and 6 are still drafts. (END)