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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Solons push for the creation of a national industrialization authority
26-March-2010, 09:19:10 AM

Lawmakers have proposed the establishment of National Industrialization Authority as the lead agency to achieve a modern and diversified industrial economy that can secure the livelihood of the Filipino people.

Rep. Neri J. Colmenares (Party-list, Bayan Muna), one of the authors of House Bill 7185, said the bill aims to eradicate widespread poverty and structural inequity on account of domestic industrial and agrarian underdevelopment rooted in the colonial history of the country and in its unequal economic relations with the highly developed world economic powers.

"The bill also seeks to recognize the Philippines as economically self-reliant because of its competent labor force, technologically adept managerial and entrepreneurial force and a comprehensive natural resource base," Colmenares said.

Colmenares said the liberalization of trade and investment, privatization of state assets and deregulation policies of the government have denationalized the economy at the expense of the toiling masses of workers and peasants, overseas contract workers and the entire Filipino people and losing the economic sovereignty as a nation.

"The manufacturing sector has continuously declined to produce capital and consumer goods for sustainable and self-sufficient production. We merely become a part of the global assembly-line of semi-manufactured products owned and controlled by foreign big business," Colmenares said.

Colmenares said the country's own labor resources and productivity cannot develop under these exploitative conditions and balance of payments is perennially short to cover the required national expenditure as government revenue has no strong domestic base and suffers chronic deficit making the Philippines dependent on foreign loans.

"The leading factor towards a self-reliant and sustainable growth is the development of basic and heavy industries using our agrarian base as foundation and light industries as a bridge between the two. National industrialization is a must if we are to survive as a people," Colmenares said.

Rep. Raymond V. Palatino (Party-list, KABATAAN), co-author of the measure, said as the declared policy of the State, national industrialization shall be developed to achieve a self-reliant and sustainable economy, provide the basic needs of the people, employment, develop science and technology, improve national revenue, protect national patrimony, prevent destruction of the environment and attain national economic sovereignty.

"Achieving this capacity, competitiveness in the global economy shall follow to serve the global market thereafter," Palatino said.

Under the bill, the NIA Board shall be composed of the President as chairman and representatives of the Socio-Economic Planning and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Finance (DOF), Energy (DOE), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA).

Other authors of the measure are Reps. Joel B. Maglungsod (Party-list, Anakpawis), Rafael V. Mariano (Party-list, Anakpawis), Satur C. Ocampo (Party-list, BayanMuna), Teodoro A. Casi˝o (Party-list, BayanMuna), Liza L. Maza (Party-list, Gabriela) and Luzviminda C. Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela).