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Critical Notes in Philippine Industrialization

Critical Notes in Philippine Industrialization

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Published by Ped Salvador

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Published by: Ped Salvador on Oct 19, 2013
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Critical Notes in Philippine IndustrializationBy Engr.Ped Salvador, Ph.D.September 10, 2013Many Filipino leaders are very emphatic on the need of industrializing our country. Theypointed out that all agricultural countries are weak, and that only the industrializednations are strong. Hence, they concluded that the Philippines should become lessagricultural and more industrialized as fast as possible.There is, of course, no doubt that in order to progress, the Philippines must industrialize.But an important question is: what is the proper way for the Philippines to become anindustrialized nation? And the problem with many of our leaders is that they want theeffects without attending to the causes, they feel so enthusiastic about the ends but do nottry to learn how to undertake the proper beginnings.Borrowing from the book of Mr. Jeremias U. Monte mayor (1966), “Ours to Share”,using analogy and comparison, we have this kind of natural order, that is, initially, wehave to have cows. As the cows’ increases, we hire someone to take care of them, to leadthem to and from pasture. So that he can perform his job well, we give him a horse. Then,perhaps, cattle rustlers try to steal some of the cows. So we give him a gun. He learnshow to use it fast and accurately. Thus, from cows we come to have cowboys.But somehow, we have learned to have a very strong liking for cowboys, but not forcows. It is as if we were telling the world: “You can have the cows- we take thecowboys”. When some people stress the importance of raising cows, we point out thatraising cows is backward. Moreover, raising cows takes too long a time. Look we canproduce a cowboy in two hours!In our country, the first stage of raising cows is agricultural development. Many believedthat we are an agricultural-based country. However we cannot discount the fact that ourcountry is also archipelagic and a maritime nation that is surrounded by so much waterand therefore enhanced with so many marine resources that made us stronger in terms of marine capability.The waters in and around the islands serve as an important medium for inter-island andinternational transportation and commerce, a source of food and livelihood for theFilipinos, and home to a rich variety of marine species and habitats, many of which arefound only in the Philippines. The country ranks tenth among the top marine capturefisheries producing States in the world and is the tenth biggest aquaculture producer. Interms of maritime commerce, the Philippines is in the world’s top 35 flags of registrationwith the largest registered deadweight tonnage. The country also has one of the most
significant container traffic among developing economies in terms of volume and is oneof the largest suppliers of seafarers in the world.The structure of the future must start from, and emerge upon the realities of the present.Only when ten people can produce enough food for twenty can the other ten afford towork in the factory rather than in the farm. Thus it is true that we should graduate fullyfrom agriculture. But to graduate means to go through all the courses, not to skip or omitsome of its important phase for the sake of a leap-frog style industrialization.According to Claro M. Recto, our noted Philippine statesman and senator, theindustrialization in the Philippines was not real and genuine but only superficial. Twoexamples he mentioned were on the Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industries. Beverageindustry was using imported malt and cola concentrate to mix with Filipino sugar andwater. Pharmaceutical industry was using imported concentrate to repackage them intocapsules and tablets. Today, even so sad to admit there are only few handfuls of trulyFilipino industrialists.My idea is to use agriculture and maritme advantages as a first stage and upgrade andstrengthen our existing policies to grow to second stage agro-maritme based industriesand further to third stage of extending to service industries. We need to accelerate andspeed- up and maximize the use of our own bountiful natural and marine resources.We should export only those products that we have competitive advantage and wetransformed these resources to a much higher value added products using either local orforeign technologies.Using technology we can industrialize our agriculture, marine resources including ourmineral products. We can manufacture dairy products out of our carabaos and goat milk.We can maximize fish production from our sea waters and package them to acceptablecost canned goods. We can develop technologies to extend life of fruits and vegetables toweeks if not months. We can harvest the best coffee variety and high yielding fruitbearing trees because of our fertile lands.We have Filipinos that can mined our mineral resources and convert these to acceptableapplication without destroying our environment and ecology. We have and can be thebest tourism haven in this part of the world. No place in the world that is comparable asBoracay, Bohol and Palawan. We have the best Filipino inventors and scientists that willanswer our research, both basic and applied. We have the best human resources that wecan utilized to operate these Filipino industries. We need though a sincere and honestindustrialist to make this happen!

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