Bongbong Marcos, presidential candidate and poll favorite, thinks the Philippines needs another dose of Ferdinand Marcos-style industrialization in order to create a jobs boom.
“The next administration will have to relaunch the industrialization dynamic that began in the 1970s. We must continue this. If you look at the history of our wealthy neighbours, they have become economically strong through trade,” Bongbong said in an interview with DZRJ radio.
The late President Marcos, who was a strong president, served in Malacañang from 1965 to 1986.
“We are currently very dependent on the service sector. This is something that we need to address very, very clearly, and manufacturing is a very important part of that,” added the UniTeam figurehead.
Based on 2021 data, the agricultural sector accounted for 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while the industry and service sectors accounted for 30.8% and 60% respectively.
The manufacturing industry also employs over 3.2 million people according to 2016 data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
UniTeam’s presidential bet also highlighted the importance of expanding the country’s export product selection to increase trade with other countries.
“If the manufacturing sector has shrunk, we really need to go back and rethink that part of our economy for the simple reason that if we want to be involved in trade, we need to have something to trade with,” Bongbong said.
According to Bongbong’s camp, the country “has been committed to the balanced development of agriculture and industry” during his late father’s tenure.
In this multi-pronged approach, the agricultural sector helped generate much-needed capital and capacity to pursue our industrialization goals, since most of the country’s exports at the time were agricultural products.
Bongbong stressed the need to generate more jobs for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and that the manufacturing sector could be used as the main contributor to job creation.
“When you talk to people, they always come back to jobs. Walang suweldo, walang pera, walang pambayad in kuryente, walang pambayad in tubig. “Yun ang mga problema ng mga Pilipino ngayon (There are no salaries, no money to pay for electricity and water. That’s what the Filiponos’ problems are right now),” said he declared.
“What we really need to do is bring back those jobs and a lot of them would be in manufacturing. Again, infrastructure development. All of this has to come into play. If we are to revive and reshape the economy in the direction the global economy is taking,” the Ilocano Palace bet added.
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