Industry

With the country’s varied natural wealth and the progress made in recent years the industry of the Philippines is now developing at a faster pace.

The power supply potential is quite considerable: numerous dams have been built on suitable rivers, some of them supplying hydroelectric power stations (e.g. on the Angat, the Agno and the Magat), though these supply only 5% of the country s electricity. Volcanism offers substantial geothermal resources. The Philippines geothermal energy provides 27% of the country’s total electricity production generated by power plants.; oil has been discovered, particularly on Palawan; the nuclear power station on Bataan, is the only nuclear power plant in the Philippines, however, after 30 years, the structure has never produced one watt of power.

Until recent years Filipino industry took two main forms the processing of minerals or tropical products for export and the production of ordinary consumption goods (textiles, foodstuffs, craft articles). While not neglecting these types of light industry, which, particularly in Manila, provide employment for a host of small businesses – workshops producing wooden or cane furniture; the craftsmen who produce the famous capiz chandeliers made from a shell paste; clothing and shoe factories; light engineering, etc. The government is now seeking to take advantage of the abundant supply of cheap labour and the influx of foreign capital attracted by the development of banking to promote industries producing goods for export or to replace imports, including the chemical industries (petrochemicals, cement, paper pulp, fertilizers), engineering (car assembly), etc. Some of the recently established industrial plants, particularly in southern Mindanao, are Japanese factories which have been transferred to the Philippines because of the pollution they caused. The chief exports are electronics and telecommunications equipment, lumber and plywood, machinery, garments, coconut products copper and sugar with Japan and United States as the chief trading partners.

The Philippines construction industry is predominantly public-sector driven. Building, one of the most active sectors of industry (accounting for 7% of the gross national product), has been fostered by the government’s programme of large-scale public works the establishment of new industrial centres, ports and irrigation, the construction of roads and upgrading about 20 airports, the development of new districts in Manila with their large hotels, offices and banks. This entire infrastructure is designed to make Manila a new financial, commercial and political centre for Asia, in the same way as Hong Kong and Singapore, and an important transit centre for tourists. As of 2006 census, the number of visitors to the archipelago is increasing at the rate of some 14% a year. If fast growing the potential for tourism to create investment and jobs and add to GDP growth rate of the country is enormous.