It appears this may not hold true for the Philippines in the near future as hinted on a report from Andrew James Masigan on mb.com.ph. But, the same cannot be said for Cebu since its industrial sector has experienced a boost in the last five years, mainly in creative industries, electronics, ship-building, and furniture. Aside from being the most diversified region in the Philippines, the industrial sector of Cebu has increased faster compared to that of other regions in the country. In fact, Cebu may be on its way into entering an exclusive list of the newly industrialized economies in the region.
Let’s backtrack into the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. During this time, the country was in the middle of rebuilding its democratic institutions after two decades under the Marcos dictatorship. While the Philippines dealt with the removal of monopolies within its economy, newly-industrialized countries continued to develop. Due to this, the country was described as the “sick man of Asia.”
Despite these accomplishments, the country has yet to reach the status of a newly industrialized economy. Only 33 percent of the country’s economy can be attributed to industry while 57 percent can be credited to services. Agriculture takes up the remaining 10 percent. Due to this, the Philippines cannot be considered a newly industrialized economy since it is mainly a service-driven economy.
The economy of Cebu has been expanding by 9 percent, which is higher than the growth rate of the entire country. While Cebu is the fourth biggest regional economy in the country, it has the smallest population among the top four regions.
Infrastructure is critical to ensure continuous economic growth in Cebu. Among the major projects set to be completed in the by 2017 are the Bus Rapid Transit system and a world-class airport. While these projects allow Cebu attain the status of a newly industrialized economy, there are other areas for improvement. It will be necessary for the government to improve the road and bridge networks along with the seaports and export processing zones in the region. Traffic in Cebu has gone from bad to worse in the past few years, making it critical for the government to find ways in managing it to prevent any adverse effects on its growth.
While the government may have had a hand in the growth Cebu is currently enjoying, it was mainly achieved through hard work and proper planning. Since the country has the opportunity of becoming a newly industrialized economy through the development in Cebu, it will be necessary for the government to provide Cebu will all the infrastructure projects it requires to ensure its continuous growth.