MANILA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday that the performance of manufacturing production in the Philippines continued to decline in January 2020.
The PSA reported in its Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) that year-on-year volume of production index (VoPI) and value of production index (VaPI) dropped by 1.6 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
However, the PSA said both indices showed improvement from the previous month's growth of -9.1 percent and -8.7 percent respectively in December 2019.
Concerns over the COVID-2019 affecting tourism and travel activities in the country could dampen production of consumer-related manufactures such as food and beverages, the National Economic and Development Authority said.
"Intensifying government's actions to monitor and implement mitigating measures will temper the potential negative impact of the COVID-2019 on the manufacturing industry," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
As the epidemic scare lingers, output of firms that produce intermediate goods to overseas market will also be affected.
"Government needs to work closely with the industry in crafting and implementing strategies to effectively mitigate the possible impacts of COVID-19 on production," Pernia added.
Pernia also stressed the need to map out entire value chains across primary, secondary, and tertiary players in the economy, to understand where critical parts are sourced, to identify alternative market sources, and to beef up inventory capacity to insulate against vulnerabilities.
To help the manufacturing industry become more competitive and resilient, Pernia said "relevant government agencies need to swiftly implement measures that would streamline processes, facilitate trade, and reduce transactions costs."
To reinforce business continuity plans, he further said government support will be needed for facilitating partnerships between micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and large domestic and foreign enterprises and for leveraging advanced manufacturing technologies to enable greater resilience of firms and MSMEs amid the challenges posed by COVID-2019.
Meanwhile, Pernia also said the recent eruption of Taal Volcano will also have a temporary impact on the manufacturing sector, given that the region, where the volcano is located, accounts for about 31 percent of the country's industry output.