ELECTRONICS exports expanded by 3.1 percent in the first five months of the year and carried much of the load—yet again—for the country’s commodity exports.
The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi) reported electronic exports in May accelerated to $3.13 billion. This was 2.29 percent higher than the $3.06 billion recorded during the same month last year.
As a whole, the industry contributed 54.38 percent of commodity exports in May, valued at $5.76 billion. Five of the industry’s nine product lines also grew during the month, topped by telecommunication, consumer electronics and office equipment.
With the May growth, year-to-date electronic exports increased by 3.1 percent to $14.88 billion, from $14.44 billion in the previous year. This was 55.3 percent of the country’s commodity exports from January to May, valued at $26.91 billion and down by 5 percent.
Semiconductor devices remained the country’s top export product at $10.92 billion, while electronic-data processing came in next at $2.47 billion.
Electronic-data processing, office equipment and consumer electronics rounded the industry’s top product exports for the January-to-May period. Seipi said the local electronics industry is targeting to grow by 6 percent this year, after it posted all-time-high receipts of $32.7 billion last year.
The industry is facing challenges from within and without, especially with the escalation of a trade war between China and the United States.
Seipi is appealing to the government to lower corporate income tax from 30 percent to 10 percent for electronics exporters under the proposed second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.
The industry almost always contributes more than 50 percent to Philippine commodity exports every year. It also employs more than 3.2 million workers, direct and indirect.