0816 GMT February 22, 2020
The Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) and the Value of Production Index (VaPI) for the month of December 2018 declined by 10.1 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively, Xinhua reported.
This brings 2018 manufacturing to 7.2 percent in terms of volume (VoPI) and 8.0 percent in terms of value (VaPI).
Across product categories, data showed the lower output of major manufacturing items such as food, chemical products, tobacco, basic and fabricated metals, and machinery (except electrical), dragged total manufacturing output.
On the upside, a decline in rice prices, downward adjustment of electricity rates, and the slight appreciation of the peso may help improve consumer outlook and prop-up demand.
"Moreover, election-related spending is projected to benefit manufacturing sub-sectors such as food, beverage, tobacco and printing and paper products," Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said, referring to the forthcoming midterm elections in May this year.
Pernia added that the approval of the exemption of key infrastructure projects from the 2019 midterm election spending ban will ensure continuous implementation of national infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program and minimize slowdown in economic growth.
To boost the performance of manufacturing, Pernia noted that the government may look into the concerns raised by exporters and importers regarding the management of empty containers, the need for an alert status on chemical importations, and the processes involving x-ray cargo inspection particularly outside the Mindanao Container Terminal, which hamper the flow of goods in the country's international ports.