Published December 14, 2019, 10:00 PM By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Manila Bulletin The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that manufacturing projects with high global value chain potential, provides social benefits, innovative, and are emerging candidates for the proposed ₱30-billion manufacturing support to be implemented over a three-year period. DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez announced this as the agency unveiled the Securing Manufacturing Revitalization & Transformation (SMART) Program to business leaders and manufacturers at the recent Manufacturing Summit 2019. The DTI has already set the criteria for projects that will benefit from the SMART program. These criteria include: (a) Global Value Chain upgrading; (b) Social Benefits and externalities (EV: E-PUV, E-jeepneys, E-trikes, E-buses); (c) Adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies to catalyze manufacturing growth & the economy; (d) Innovation, R&D, commercialization of market-oriented research; (e) Emerging industries, clusters & activities that would address gaps in supply/value chains; and, (f) Industrial development in rural areas. “The SMART program will support the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, upgrading processes, upgrading products, upgrading services, and development of new business models,” said Lopez. For this, he said, the DTI proposed to spend ₱25 billion-₱30 billion to support small, medium, and even large companies for a period of 3 years,” he furthered. The program will support the industry through soft loans, grant vouchers, incentives (through the SIPP), standards, safeguard measures, fund support (similar to the CARS program), and reduction in trade barriers. At present, DTI is eyeing some programs for funding support under SMART. First, the ECO-PUV Program – this includes the manufacture of jeepneys using both ICE & EV technology, Parts & components of OEM platform & Eco-PUV body, and Production volume & fixed investment support. The DTI-National Development Corporation Co-investment Program also identifies Co-fund innovation projects to develop new products, new capabilities, provides funding assistance for developing & testing technology projects, and bestows Matching Grants. EV Incentive Scheme (EVIS) Program – this program provides CARS-like incentives (fixed and production volume incentives) to electric vehicle production. Examples are E-jeepneys, buses, trikes, motorcycles. Industrial Transformation Program – this program would provide support to companies that are shifting to Industry 4.0 technologies to improve productivity (digitalization, automation). The SMART program fully supports the new flagship industrial strategy of the government as it is consistent with the Philippine Development Plan, the i3S (Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy), and the inclusive Filipinnovation & Entrepreneurship Roadmap. Lopez cited the need to revitalize the manufacturing sector to continue its high growth trajectory and help transition the industries to Industry 4.0. He explained that the projects to be supported under the program would have to be performance-based, targeted, time-bound, and transparent.