• Melo Acuna

COVID-19 opens new opportunities

Domestic industrialization, needed for the country to recover from COVID-19

MANILA – Former UP – School of Labor and Industrial Relations Dean Dr. Rene Ofreneo reiterated his call to pursue domestic industrialization.

Speaking at the weekly Wednesday Roundtable @ Lido, Dr. Ofreneo said he appreciates Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez take on ways to recover from the devastation of COVID-19 on the economy, specially the micro, small and medium enterprises.

“We need to have industrial re-envisioning and I like what DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez’s call to “look inward,’” the Academician added.

Looking at the opportunities established with the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ofreneo said it is important to consider areas of development as well as the rebuilding of the nation’s steel industry.

He expressed concern the Philippines now lags behind Asian neighbors they have established appropriate priorities to harmonize skills upgrading with industrialization.

Dr. Ofreneo also underscored the need for different government agencies to come up with definite priorities such as the Departments of Trade and Industry and Science and Technology as well as the National Economic and Development Authority.

He said the Agriculture sector has grown significantly during the first weeks of the pandemic but the gains seem to have been lost as farmers and other workers have no purchasing power because the economy was fueled by domestic consumption. He explained domestic consumption was triggered by foreign remittances from overseas Filipinos. However, hundreds of thousands of overseas Filipinos have returned home.

As the lockdown eased and business have reopened, imports have come in and left local producers behind. (Melo M. Acuña)

Screenshot from Wednesday Roundtable @ Lido where business, labor, Academe were all represented. (Melo M. Acuna Photo)

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