Five Common Obstacles To Getting The Philippines' Exports To Exceed Its Imports
Whether you like it or not the Philippines really needs to participate in international marketing to progress. Part of international marketing involves the route of export and import. It's a problem if the Philippines cannot get its export to exceed its imports. Here's five common obstacles that needs to be overcome with the Philippines' role in the export industry. But of course, there's more, right?
A lack of accountability in the manufacturing process
In the Philippines, the word accountability is almost a stranger in the country. News like a slippers factory blowing up for any factory fire with high fatalities makes you think about poor safety standards. It can be observed that a lot of times, many businesses can easily get their approvals even if they don't pass through safety standards. That kind of practice really leads to a lot of disasters in the future. It can't be denied that while fires may not break out immediately but substandard manufacturing practices can compromise product safety. What might be labeled as safe for consumption may end up killing a lot of its consumers. It can become an issue if dangerous Filipino food products get exported and the Filipino government decides to cover up instead of punish the people responsible. By not giving fair punishment for not meeting standards, impunity is further encouraged by investors in the Philippines whether they be local or foreign investors. When there is fair punishment then there's more quality to be met.
Mediocre product standards prevent the production of more quality Pinoy made products
If you want people to see the greatness of Pinoy-made products then they must really be of export quality and not mediocre quality. I cannot deny that there are really Filipino products that are export quality. Some Filipino businessmen deserve their awards for their hard work. There's still the problem of mediocre product standards that don't deserve the export quality seal. Although it may not be necessarily fatal to the consumer but let's think about the taste of a food product or the durability of one's clothes or accessories. What might be really an insult to Filipino exports is when unimpressive products make it into the foreign market. Just ask yourself if would anybody eat any Filipino food snack that's poorly made or wear Filipino-made shoes that are so substandard they're no better than non-Filipino substandard shoes? It's time to raise the standards beyond "Pinoy standards" in order to create world class Pinoy products.
Too few foreign direct investments affect supply and demand cycles
Like it or not, having a a lack of foreign direct investments is really bad for the economy. When there's a lack of foreign investments then there's going to be a lack of investors to fill in the supply/demand gaps to make the wheel turn. The whole idea of national self-industrialization has been proven a failure yet it's an idea that's adhered to by close-minded ultranationalists. If you think about it if there are less services for either suppliers or manufacturers, how can businesses do better? One good example is that it would be more convenient to buy your machineries directly than having to ship them from one country to another or any imported materials needed for manufacturing would be better bought directly in the Philippines than having to ship them all the time? This also means that with a lack of foreign direct investments, it can also delay time tables to unreasonable degrees. Not having the proper equipment and materials for some local businesses mean the local investors might be forced to use local garbage all the time for production.
Unjustifiable tax rates demotivate manufacturing companies
It's a problem that the Philippines has super high tax rates and too few investors. Either the Bureau of Internal Revenue (or Robbery) is either stupid, greedy or a bad combination of both. If your tax rates are too high like 32% for an income of PHP 500,000 and above, can you really be motivated to work? Developed countries have a high amount of investors and lower tax rates. If taxes are too high it creates the environment that rewards the lazy and punishes the diligent. With that kind of demotivation then don't expect Filipino manufacturers to create world class Pinoy products. It's really time for a BIR tax cut because it's a huge burden to Filipinos in general. When there are more foreign investors then there will be more customers and suppliers for local businesses. A local commodities salesman can be selling his or her wares to foreigners or raw materials to foreign firms.
Heavy traffic can disrupt the flow of efficiency in businesses
The idea that traffic is a sign of progress is really stupid. Any form of unmanaged traffic will sooner or later kill the progress in the Philippines. It's really common sense that traffic also disrupts businesses. Suppliers have to move the supplies from one location to another. What should have been a half an hour trip from Point A to Point B ends up as two to three hours trip no thanks to traffic. Just imagine the stress this develops that people have to order earlier than usual or the stress of not getting your supplies and equipment needed on time. You have businesses who are so excited to do business but then all that traffic delays, delays and delays to the point they're no longer inspired to create export quality products. It's time to really create feasible traffic solution than just dismiss it as, "Traffic is a sign of progress."
With these five problems, it really must be addressed as part of economic reforms in the Philippines. Do you want the world to see that Filipinos are capable of being great? Then it's really time to overcome these five (or more) obstacles in creating quality Filipino products. Forget about shouting "Pinoy Pride" to competitions because they're not going to help the Philippines improve.