Manufacturing, Agricultural Employment Can Reduce Poverty

The Philippines should focus on developing more the manufacturing and agriculture sectors so the poor people can benefit from its high economic growth that can reduce poverty, according to an economist.

“These sectors actually employ more of the unskilled and low-educated workers. Basically, these are the poor,” said Celia Reyes, a senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

Reyes, on the sidelines of the launch of the 10th Development Policy Research Month, said the government support is also needed to enhance the skills of the poor.

She noted that the gains of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, also widely known as the Philippine conditional cash transfer (CCT), can lead to enhanced skills and greater participation of the poor in the economic growth.

Reyes said the 6.1 percent gross domestic product (GDP) achieved in the first semester of the year could generate jobs for everyone including the poor.

“I think the good economic picture is painting a rosy picture in terms of more successful efforts towards reducing poverty,” she said.

For his part, PIDS president Josef Yap said that a more dynamic manufacturing sector would have provided more higher-paying jobs to the less-educated workforce, thereby making poverty reduction faster.

He also attributed this problem to lagging performance of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that tends to employ more workers.

To boost the manufacturing sector, Yap cited the need to encourage more foreign investments and tie-ups with local firms.

“Tie-ups between international and local firms can expand and deepen our manufacturing sector,” he said.

— Danielle Venz, reposted fromPHILEXPORT News and Features

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