PGMA cites gains in electronics, IT field
By Ninfa B Quirante
Manila (19 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cited and acknowledged the gains made by the electronics industry to help boost the economy.
In her message during the strategic forum held, she said that the electronics industry accounts for 2/3 of our exports, employing half a million people in well-paying jobs.
She added that in the creation of jobs, nothing beats the information technology industry: call centers, business process outsourcing, and electronics.
The president also cited that the Philippines supplies 50% of the world's requirements for 2.5-inch hard disk drives and 10% of the 3.5-inch hard disk drives produced by the top three global suppliers Fujitsu, Toshiba and Hitachi. And that for mobile phones, 100% of the Nokia digital signal processors and 80% of Siemens' and Ericsson's are manufactured by Texas Instruments.
With Texas Instruments expanding its factory in Baguio and the new $1 billion wafer fab facility at the Clark Feeport Zone, PGMA said that more Filipinos will be employed as the company has chosen the country over other locations including China.
She added that her belief in the Filipinos' ability to get "the job-well done" has been validated including the quality of the infrastructure and facilities at Clark.
The President also cited other investments that has truly propped up the economy.
She mentioned that a number of international companies have recently invested heavily in the country in electronics and other industries.
Electronics investments for the first eight months of 2007 posted more than 100 percent growth compared to the same period last year – from $360 million to $763 million. As to other industries, Korea's Hanjin has built a billion dollar shipyard in Subic and is already making expansion plans. Last year, Marubeni and Tokyo Electric Power purchased power plants in the Philippines for some $3.5 billion and announced another $350 million to expand its facilities in Pagbilao, she added.
Moreso, she said that the American power company AES recently won the bid for the Calaca power plant at $930 million and that it is considering another $1 billion expansion in that plant, the President said..
Further, PGMA said that the Philippines has become an increasingly competitive location for manufacturing, services and high-skill jobs along with the booming call center business.
She justified the increasing investment outpouring in the country because of the strategic location in a fast-growing region, that the workforce is well educated, productive and English-speaking.
She said that the country has worked hard to maintain through investments in human capital to ensure the competiveness of the workforce.
The president also cited the various scholarships and grants to deserving Filipinos in the field of science and technology.
Finally, she announced the P 1 trillion budget for the Medium Term Public Investment Program to enhance the natural competitive advantages of the natural sub-economies or "super regions" of the Philippines.
She said the government is determined to raise infrastructure spending to GDP ratio to 4.5 percent which is the ASEAN average. (PIA-Samar) [top]