By Ayen Infante 07/07/2011
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is assisting the government’s efforts to boost industrial development in the countrysides through a recent five-day mission in the Philippines in relation to the Jica-Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) technical cooperation project called the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (Niccep).
Jica had a series of discussions with officials of the DTI to work out the details of Niccep based on the discussions held during the preparatory survey conducted by the first Jica Study Mission in October to November 2010.
Minoru Yamada, advisor of the private sector development division, private sector development group, industrial development and public policy department, Jica Headquarters in Japan said the mission intends to primarily firm up and discuss details on the nature of NIccep, its project design and arrangement of its implementation with the DTI as proponent and implementing agency by holding site visits to selected industry cluster in Southern Luzon.
A meeting was conducted last June 27 attended by representatives of both the Philippines and Japan. Jica was represented by Yamada and his deputy assistant director, Jintaro Yazaki; Flerida Chan, section chief, Poverty Reduction Section, Jica Philippine Office and Naoko Yago, resident representative of Jica Philippine Office. Representatives from the Philippines were the DTI — Regional Operations and Development Group (RODG) Undersecretary Merly Cruz; DTI-4A Regional Director Marilou Toledo, DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria Caberte, DTI-11 Regional Director Marizon Loreto, DTI-3 Assistant Regional Director Judith Angeles, Export Development Council deputy executive director Emma Mijares, Bureau of Domestic Trade director Marievic Bonoan, DTI-OSEC chief of staff Lydia Guevarra, and other DTI technical staff.
“Niccep’s overall goal is to facilitate increase in the contribution of the selected priority industry clusters to the national economy particularly in terms of creation of jobs, development and strengthening of MSMEs, increase in value-adding and improvement in the business environment and more importantly impact on the poverty,” said by DTI-RODG Undersecretary Cruz.
Cruz added the objective of Niccep is to enhance the capacity of selected industry clusters throughout the country to plan, implement, facilitate service delivery, evaluate projects, and improve industry competitiveness.
Industry clusters are groups of competing, collaborating and interdependent businesses in mostly rural areas.
It has increasingly been recognized as an effective approach to encouraging competitiveness in industrial development and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises.
The clustering process necessitates the operation of upstream (raw material suppliers, production inputs) and downstream (logistics, value-adding, packaging and marketing) economic activities to support the whole value-chain.
The development and promotion of industry clusters are identified as a major strategy under the DTI Roadmap and the Integrated DTI-RODG Workplan and is aligned with the strategic framework of the MSME Development Plan and the Philippine Medium Term Development Plan: 2011-2016.
DTI has piloted the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Program (Diccep) Strategy and proposed the expansion of the industry cluster approach to other regions/industries in the Philippines by applying Diccep experience called Niccep.