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The Plight of Filipino Industries Today

Preserve and Protect or Kill

Ped Salvador
January 20, 2017

Looking back in our economic history, one may find that most if not all of the developed
countries started with an agrarian economy and eventually up- shifted to industrialization
to maximize economic efficiency and thus improve the quality of life of its people. In the
United States of America in particular, the government made use of technology to enhance
the output of agricultural sector by way of a more modernized method of mechanized
farming and using advanced science to study soil characteristics, fertilizer, weather
condition and irrigation systems. Agriculture which requires a high number of planters,
farmers and workers for centuries had been reduced without compromising food

Excess in agricultural output became the primary raw materials and served as input to the
burgeoning factories that became the source of countless manufactured line of products for
both local and foreign consumption. The situation also made the factories to absorb and
utilize the excess labor created and the by-product of mechanized technologies. Since then
more and more people in the rural communities started to move into the urban areas that
pave the way on the birth of modern cities which became the centers of industries and

Relatively the same approach and strategy were used in the development of service
industries after an unprecedented increase in efficiency and productivity through the
automation of the processes used in the manufacturing industries. Insurmountable number
of consumer and industrial goods was produced and offered in the global marketplace and
made the United States the richest country on earth.

The Philippines is blessed with so many natural resources and has coastal areas bigger
than the United States. However the Philippines, in its long history of economic
development, farmers has never been able to go out from the bondage of soil and became
always on the verge of poverty as ever because of continuous inadequate and ineffective
support from the government. It also became now and then a regular lip service promise or
norm for every candidate in all presidential elections. Social justice issue had always been
on the drawing board of prominent authorities and yet still up until today the majority of
the Filipino farmers and their families are poor.

During the 1950s and 60s the Philippines enjoyed a vibrant economy and an apparently
advanced manufacturing sector. The sense of security this brought, however, was false: the
industries that the Philippines relied on were primarily American and non-indigenous; and
whatever prosperity Filipinos enjoyed rested on the mistaken belief that these foreign
investments will remain on the country indefinitely.(1)

According to Claro M. Recto, a noted Filipino statesman, nationalist and senator, the
industrialization policy in the country was not real and genuine but only superficial. Two
examples he mentioned were on the Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industries being
operated by the Multinational Corporations. The Beverage industry was using imported
malt and cola concentrate to mix with Filipino sugar and water. Pharmaceutical Industry
was using imported concentrate to repackage them into capsules and tablets.

Multinationals engaged in the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes used imported raw
materials and sell their manufactured products locally in the detriment of thousand of
Filipino farmers that depends their livelihood in tobacco farming. Worse there are
multinational companies that use their financial might and influence to maneuver small
competitors to stop their operations. Even in government taxation the Multinationals
prefer the unitary system which is monopolistic in nature and defies fairness in local
competition. Majority of the profit generated from this system process was also being
repatriated to the home country rather than invest an acceptable percentage of it for further
economic activities in the host country. Most of the time they use the so called transfer
pricing system to facilitate this financial operation.This system has become a predominant
economic situation in a developing country like ours for so many years now.
The jeepney manufacturing sector was never able to make it beyond backyard status to
become a genuine car-manufacture industry. Beyond metal pressing and stamping, and
fabrication of various metal decoration the sector never went to the stage of
standardization, efficient mass production, and assembly line automation. In many years
of jeepney manufacture it remained in the realm of manual processing using hand-pressed,
hand-crafted, hand-painted methods. Never was the country able to completely
manufacture of any mass-produced automobile from top to bottom. While they are still
King of the Road in Manila, low sales and profitability has killed all but the most
persistent jeepney assemblers of Cavite.(2)

While the Philippines have been home to several electronics and electrical multinational
companies, none of these had resulted in the creation of large local counterpart enterprises.
Note that in Taiwan is the home to computing giants Acer and Asus, among others. South
Korea has generated globally oriented Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, Kia, and LG. Texas
Instruments has long had its electronics plant in Baguio and Clark Pampanga, and yet no
local electronics company has become globally prominent. (3)

Today Philippines, is again embarking a solid industrialization policy as the present
administration made it as one of the primary and in one of the priority list in its economic
and social development programs together with agriculture, health and education. Three
more coal powered plants have been inaugurated in the last six months and a plan to
restore and re-open the Bataan nuclear plant to boost the energy requirement of Philippine
industrialization. As our population is forecasted to become bigger and bigger in the next
coming couple of years, it is only mandatory to prepare them for employment through
massive industrialization.
To make this happen, success in Philippine Industrialization would only occur if our
current and future policy makers would stick and seriously adhere to the tenets of 1987
Article XII of Philippine Constitution-National Economy and Patrimony. The idea to use
agriculture as a first stage and upgrade and strengthen our existing policies to grow and
speed up to second stage agro-based industries, then light to heavy industrialization and
further to third stage to service industries. On these regards equitable distribution of
economic development in the 18 regions is a necessity.

Its about time to exploit and use our own bountiful natural and marine resources.
Philippines as an archipelagic country is not only an agricultural but also a maritime
country. We can industrialize both our agriculture and mineral produce. We can
manufacture dairy products out of our own carabaos and goat milk. We can maximize fish
production from our sea waters and package them to acceptable cost canned goods. We
can develop technologies to extend life of fruits and vegetables to weeks if not months.
We have Filipinos that can mined our mineral resources and convert these to acceptable
application. We can harness our Deuterium deposits in the Mindanao deep and start our
own new energy industry. We have and can be the best tourism haven in this part of the
world with improved peace and order, transportation and support services. We have the
best mind Filipino inventors and scientists that will answer our research and development
needs. We have the best human resources that we can utilize to operate these Filipino

It is real and true that industrialization is a primary tool in a countrys development. It is

therefore must be preserved, protected and not killed!

Source:(1,2,3)Ang Kape ni Lattex Blog Electric Dreams of Philippine Industrialization