Key drivers, thought leaders, and game changers from various Philippine industries and sectors, government agencies, development partners, and other stakeholders gathered today (May 5, 2016) in an appreciation lunch, renewing their continuing commitment even beyond 2016 to further collaborate efforts in supporting the growth, development, and competitiveness of Philippine industries.

Dubbed as “A Commitment Beyond 2016: Securing the Future of Philippine Industries”, the gathering was hosted by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) through its industry development and investments promotion arm—the Board of Investments (BOI) led by Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City.

As a symbol of their continuing commitment, about a hundred attendees of the gathering placed stickers and signed the commitment map at the event venue.  The stickers contained the three major commitments that will drive the growth and development of industries namely: support sustainable and inclusive growth by creating more and better jobs and pursuing development in the regions; push for a better business environment by advocating effective and responsive business rules and regulations; and pursue national competitiveness by advancing innovation and human productivity in Philippine industries.

Apart from the commitment of support, industry players represented by their champions also made testimonials on the various industry development programs’ impact in their respective industries namely: Catherine Ileto of the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines for the IT-BPM industry, Dan Lachica of the Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. for the chemicals sector; and Vicente Mills Jr. of the Philippine Automotive Federation Inc. for the automotive manufacturing industry.

“The gathering is our humble gesture of appreciation to our partners in industry development for their support, involvement, and partnership with us to further strengthen the competitiveness of the country’s industries and sectors,” said Undersecretary Rodolfo adding that remarkable economic gains were achieved through the industry development initiatives pushed and implemented in the last five years.

“The Philippines is now one of the fastest growing economies in the region.  The six-year GDP growth of 6.2 percent placed us as among the topperforming economies in the ASEAN region,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.  “Parallel to these economic developments is the growth of the manufacturing sector averaging at 8.2 percent per year for the past four years and it is at this point that we know that our policies, plans, and programs are on the right track,” he added.

In pursuit of competitiveness, the BOI launched various projects to pursue an integrated approach in implementing its Industry Development Programs and the Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP).

“First is the Industry Roadmapping Project.  To date, a total of 40 sectoral roadmaps have been submitted to the BOI composed by 32 completed roadmaps and 8 drafted roadmaps. These roadmaps served as the building blocks of the Manufacturing Industry Roadmap have been the Sectoral Working Groups’ guide in crafting, prioritizing and implementing plans of action for their respective industries,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.

Under MRP, the projects include Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program, Die & Mold Making and Design Training in partnership with the MIRDC and the PDMA; Philippine Rubber Investment and Market Encounter; enhancing the competitiveness of the Philippine coffee, establishment and implementation of an Aerospace Quality Management Systems Project; Product and Technology Holistic Strategy Project for the electronics industry, Study by the UP School of Urban Planning, Economics and Anthropology on the revival of key industries in the Sixth District of Quezon City; Cottage Industry Technology Center Transformation Project, Sectoral Value Proposition Development, Regulations review for priority sectors, Industry Roadmapping Project including the development of roadmaps for the footwear and garments and textile sectors; conduct of regional conferences and localization of industry roadmaps; and forum and conferences on trade and industry development talks and updates on various industries and sectors.

“These milestones would not have been possible if not for the hard work and dedication of our partners. It is not possible to do justice to your invaluable contributions in just a few summary remarks. But let me say that I know that being busy professionals from different fields, it took great effort for you to come together and spend many hours to brainstorm and discuss ideas, and implement specific action plans,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.

Moving forward, Undersecretary Rodolfo said the DTI and BOI will continue to partner with the industry and make sure that plans and projects are effectively implemented.