electronics industry received boost from APEC 1996
QUEZON CIY, Nov 19 -- The Philippine electronics industry benefitted
much from the country’s first hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum
(APEC) in November 1996.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Chito Manalo said that
free trade agreements among the 21-member APEC economies almost 20 years ago
gave a boost to the then struggling local electronic sector.
The electronics industry’s share in the Philippines’ total exports improved
during the last 20 years, based on data of the Semiconductor and Electronics
Industries in the Philippines Inc. (Seipi), an organization comprising
leaders of the high-technology industry and other sectors involved in
In 1993, the Philippine’s electronic components exports amounted to $3.78
million, representing 33 percent of country’s total export. In 2004, the
value of electronics exports climbed to $26.64 million or 69 percent of the
total exports, according to Seipi.
In May 2015, electronic products have become the country’s top exports with
total receipts of $2.357 billion, or 48.1 percent of the total exports
revenue in May 2015.
“The demand for automotive, consumer and industrial products are still
driving the growth, so the general guidance is still 5 percent to 7
percent,” Dan Lachica, Seipi president said during a meeting with the
Department of Trade and Industry.
Electronics proved resistant against the trend of decreasing merchandise
exports early this year. As of February 2015, value of total exports was at
$4.5 billion, with components and devices or semiconductors comprising the
biggest share at 29.5 percent worth $1.33 billion. This is an increase of 16
percent from $1.149 billion in February 2014.
The 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week being hosted by the Philippines has for
its theme, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.”
Manalo said that in May 2015, APEC trade ministers recognized the need to
support micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the Boracay
Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs.
Early on, the current administration has taken SMEs as a special concern as
it employs the bulk of the country’s labor force.
“In fact that is exactly the purpose of APEC, to even the playing field by
removing trade restrictions both within well-developed and still developing
economies,” Manalo said in reply to a question on safety nets government has
put in place for local small traders and given that APEC is composed of
strong and weaker economies.
Last year, electronics was cited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)
as the saving grace for the country’s slowed overall export growth, which
the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. had said is due in part to the
prolonged effect of the port congestion, which led to the cancellation of
Electronics was among the commodities unaffected by the port congestion as
these were shipped by air. Exports of Peza, as of November of 2014, grew
only by 3.11 percent to $40.51 billion.
Last month, Acer Philippines has released two separate lines of mobile
phones, a windows-based and a smart phone mainly because of its confidence
in the stable local and regional market for mobile phones, a major
electronics and semiconductor group.
Recently the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) inaugurated its
Electronic Product Development Center (EPDC).
The electronics infrastructure, according to DOST, “will help push the
country from being just an assembler into becoming a designer, manufacturer
and marketer of electronic products produced in country.”
The EPDC is equipped with cutting-edge technologies that will enable local
companies, start-ups and academe to conduct their research, design and
prototyping of electronic products right here in the country.
Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo, in a statement, said “This milestone is
not only the achievement of the department, but also the success of the
whole [electronics] industry [in the country].”
Montejo added that the center is a fulfilment of the mandate to maximize the
economic and social benefits of the science and technology in the country
for the Filipino people, spearheaded by the Aquino government early on.
“It is about time to seriously look at product design activities, especially
with the competition we could be facing in the upcoming Asean integration,”
Engr. Alex Sy, president of the Electronics Industry Association of the
Philippines Inc. said in a statement. He said that his group is very
grateful to the government particularly to the DOST for listening to the
Sy explained that companies engaged in product design usually earn more than
those which are engaged in subcontracting jobs. The electronics and
semiconductor industry is the nation’s top exporter accounting for 41
percent of the total exports. He lamented however that the industry is
mostly dependent on subcontracting jobs, which is at the low end of the
global value chain. Sy hopes that EPDC will encourage more research and
development and provide the much-needed practical experience for our pool of
designers in the country.
“The operation of the EPDC is a step closer to the realization of our
long-term dreams,” he said.
The EPDC houses a Printed Circuit Board Prototyping and Fabrication
Facility, a Product Prototyping Facility and a 10-meter Semi Anechoic
Chamber for Electromagnetic Compatibility and Safety Testing. With these
facilities, local manufacturers can save time and cost by doing fabrication
and compliance testing here in the country. (AED/RDA-Media ng Bayan)