MANILA — The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport), the umbrella organization of exporters in the country, expressed optimism that the sector’s positive growth in 2017 could be sustained this year.
This is despite export revenues in November 2017 recording its slowest growth last year at 1.6 percent year-on-year.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that export revenues in November last year reached USD4.96 billion, slightly higher from USD4.89 billion in November 2016.
Philexport President Sergio Ortiz-Luis told the Philippine News Agency that the slower increase in revenues in November can be attributed to the additional holidays declared in November, which affected the movement of goods.
Aside from last year’s special non-working day during All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 and the regular holiday on Bonifacio Day, Malacañang Palace declared Nov. 13 to 15 as special non-working days due to the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit.
“Due to more holidays, our manufacturing inputs were down,” Ortiz-Luis said.
“November was a slow month for manufacturing and exports last year because of more holidays,” he stressed.
However, the Philexport chief remained optimistic that the increase in export revenues will continue this year with the recovery of global market and the new infrastructure projects of the government.
From January to November last year, Philippine exports rose 10.8 percent to USD58.1 billion from USD52.44 billion in the same period in 2016.
“We’re positive that we can maintain that level of growth this year. We’re hopeful for another double-digit growth,” Ortiz-Luis added.
He also echoed the exporters’ support to the export revenue target of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2017-2022.
The government eyes to reach exports revenue of USD122 billion to USD131 billion at the end of the Duterte administration.