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Philippines' manufacturing output drops for 12th consecutive month in Nov. 2019

The Philippine manufacturing output continued to drop in November 2019, marking the 12th consecutive month of declines, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday showed.

Preliminary results of the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) showed that factory output or the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) fell by 6.1% versus the 1.9% growth the same month in 2018.

"The decline in VoPI was mainly influenced by the decreases in the indices of eight major industry groups," the PSA said in an accompanying statement.

Drops were recorded in furniture and fixtures (-41.2%), basic metals (-29.5%), miscellaneous manufactures (-22.1%), petroleum products (-21.8%), transport equipment (-16.7%) and electrical machinery (-13.0%).

Declines were also registered in non-metallic mineral products (-2.6%) and textiles (-1.6%).

Likewise, the Value of Production Index (VaPI) reflected an annual drop of 5.8%, a contraction from the 2.3% growth in November 2018.

"Among the nine major industry groups that reported decreases in VaPI, five major industry groups had two-digit decreases," said the PSA.

These were basic metals (-36.2%), petroleum products (-25.6%), miscellaneous manufactures (-20.7%), transport equipment (-20.6%) and electrical machinery (-16.6%).

For its part, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) stressed the need for an innovation-driven industrial policy to strengthen the manufacturing sector.

"Industries need to be encouraged to innovate and adopt efficient technologies," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a separate statement.

"This is a key strategy to entice more investments, similar to the experiences of the country's ASEAN peers such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam," he added.

Pernia said that the timely passage of this year's budget is a welcome move to ensure the continuity of critical government projects.

"The signing of the 2020 budget into law by the President ensures the continuity of projects aimed to attract local and offshore investments to boost growth and create more and quality employment opportunities for Filipinos," he said. —KG/BM, GMA News