MANILA - Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Thursday cited agriculture as a vital growth driver for the country, while mining industry should be further explored to increase its contribution to the economy.
"We have to reinvigorate agriculture, thus that the high price of food affect everyone and influence the movement of the economy," he said in a statement during the Philippine economic briefing in New York.
Balisacan, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief, said agriculture is an "obvious" growth driver for the economy as President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has pronounced that this is a priority sector of his administration.
He said responsible mining is a major source of economic growth and the government should promote this industry.
"As we understand from our Environment Secretary, only 6 percent of extractable resources have been mined. There's so much room for expanding that and transform that wealth into other forms of wealth," he added.
The country has been pitching investments in green metals such as nickel, cobalt, and copper to American investors as part of the Department of Trade and Industry's "Make It Happen in the Philippines" investment campaign.
Balisacan said the country has to revive its manufacturing sector as this is a good source of quality jobs and has a tremendous impact on poverty reduction.
The economist cited tourism and information technology and business process management, along with health and pharmaceutical industry, as low-hanging fruit for the economy.
Other major growth drivers for the country include construction due to the huge housing backlogs, public-private partnerships, and connectivity. (PNA)