MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement to create a convergence program on road connectivity for industry and trade development.
The program, dubbed as Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL IT), will align DPWH projects with that of DTI projects in support of local industries.
Under the agreement, the trade department will identify areas where there are clusters of manufacturing plants with poor road facilities, and submit the list to the public works department so it can prioritize the development of these road networks.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said it is crucial for government to help the manufacturing industry grow because it is the core sector in providing jobs.
Lopez considers it one of the best ways to achieve the goal of sustainable inclusive growth.
DTI's target is to bring the manufacturing sector's growth levels to 8 to 10 percent in the next six years.
In the last three years, local manufacturing grew 7.3 percent, outpacing the services sector, which grew only 6.7 percent.
To achieve this target, DTI is planning to set up an innovation center and invite industry experts to help manufacturing activities level up technology.
It is also looking at providing incentives for innovative research and development, and purchase of manufacturing equipment.
Lopez recognizes that government should also provide inclusive financing to small and medium enterprises and integrate them with the global value chain.