Gov’t urged to fast-track infra spending
The country’s main economic planning agency wants the government to speed up the implementation of public works during the second half of this year as a means of propping up demand and boosting the country’s flagging manufacturing sector.
This came after the Philippine Statistics Authority disclosed last week that the manufacturing sector’s output, as measured through the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries, remained in negative territory for July 2019.
In a statement, National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon said that, in particular, the decline in the construction-related manufactures reflected the slowdown in government spending on infrastructure since the first six months of 2019.
The weak performance of construction-related manufactures—including heavily weighted petroleum products, electrical machinery, nonmetallic minerals and basic metals—accounted for much of the decline in manufacturing output.
“The slowdown in the implementation of infrastructure projects in the first semester contributed to the weak performance of manufacturing sector,” she said.
Meanwhile, the government also said that the Volume of Production Index declined by 8.1 percent while the Value of Production Index decreased by 7.3 percent in July 2019. This is the seventh consecutive month in 2019 that the volume and value indices are on the decline.