Manila Bulletin : 'Macoy'-style industrialization drive needed for job-generation, says Bongbong

27 March 2022

By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

Presidential candidate and survey frontrunner Bongbong Marcos thinks that the Philippines needs another dose of Ferdinand Marcos-style industrialization in a bid to create an employment boom.

“The next administration will have to revive the industrialization drive that was started in the 70s. We have to continue that. If you look at the history of our wealthy neighbors, they became economically strong because of trade,” Bongbong said during an interview with DZRJ radio.

The late President Marcos–who was a strongman president–sat in Malacañang from 1965 to 1986.

“We are at present very dependent on the service sector. That is something we need to address very, very clearly, and manufacturing is a very important part of that,” added the UniTeam ticket figurehead.

Based on 2021 data, the agriculture sector accounted for 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the industrial and services sectors accounted for 30.8 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

The manufacturing industry also employs over 3.2 million individuals based on 2016 data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The UniTeam presidential bet also underscored the importance of expanding the country’s selection of export products to increase trade with other countries.

“If the manufacturing sector has shrunk then we really have to go back and redesign that part of our economy for the simple reason that if we want to be involved in trade, then we have to have something to trade with,” Bongbong said.

According to Bongbong’s camp, the country “embarked on the balanced development of both agriculture and industry” during the tenure of his late father.

In this multi-pronged approach, the agriculture sector helped generate the much-needed capital and capacity required to pursue our industrialization objectives, since most of the country’s exports were agricultural products at that time.

Bongbong underscored the need to generate more jobs for people who lost their work due to the pandemic, and that the manufacturing sector could be used as the primary contributor to job generation.

“When you talk to people, they always come back down to jobs. Walang suweldo, walang pera, walang pambayad sa kuryente, walang pambayad sa tubig. ‘Yun ang mga problema ng mga Pilipino ngayon (There are no salaries, no money to pay for electricity and water. That’s what Filiponos’ problems are right now),” he said.

“What we really have to do is bring back those jobs and many of those would be in manufacturing. Again, infrastructure development. All that has to come into play. If we are going to revive and reshape the economy in the direction the global economy is going,” the Ilocano Palace bet added.