THE GOVERNMENT needs to promote investment in new agriculture and manufacturing technology to raise domestic production and reduce import dependency, analysts said.
“Government with the help of private sector must find ways to increase production by investing in technology that will transform the country’s production,” John Paolo R. Rivera, chief economist at Oikonomia & Research, Inc., said in a Viber message.
“Prioritizing these would spur new ways of doing things.”
Last week, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told the Senate finance committee that the government was working towards raising domestic production, calling imports a temporary measure to stabilize prices.
He said the government should invest in logistics and provide technological support to farmers.
“Our trade policy is used to enhance the workings of the economy in such a way that we can stabilize prices, create employment, and make our local products more competitive,” Mr. Balisacan said.
Mr. Rivera said importing agricultural products is not sustainable, adding that new technology needs to be introduced to boost domestic production.
“(Reliance on foreign firms is) among the reasons why there is a weak domestic multiplier effect and why manufacturing employment chronically lags behind reported manufacturing gross domestic product growth,” Jose Enrique A. Africa, executive director of the think tank IBON Foundation, said in a Viber message.
He said the government should provide more subsidies for domestic agriculture and manufacturing.
China Banking Corp. Chief Economist Domini S. Velasquez added that importing cannot be avoided to stabilize prices during to shortages, but cited the need for a plan to boost production.
“The government should also give clear-cut steps and a comprehensive plan to boost production,” she said in a Viber message.
“Import dependence can only be sustainably reduced if Filipino industries are built,” Mr. Africa said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez