PHL must move beyond being just an exporter of raw materials - marketing expert

The Philippines should not settle as an exporter of raw materials to other economies, but it must also develop its own brands, a marketing and sales expert said Thursday. "Nakikinabang pa ang iba. Teach SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to market their products not just 'made in the Philippines' but also 'grown in the Philippines.' That's how we market the Philippines and Philippine [agricultural] products," Willy E. Arcilla, founder and president of Business Mentors Inc., said during the

launch of the Philippine Marketing Association's National Marketing Conference in Makati City. Arcilla also said that the revitalizing the country's agro-industrial sector and developing more goods and brands for export will make the Philippine economy competitive in Asia. “Industry and agriculture go together,” he added. He also noted that abundance must be the goal of the agriculture sector, rather than just self-sufficiency. "Our agriculture has been neglected. We have to focus on agriculture, not just self sufficiency but we have to have abundance so we can export [our products like] corn, coconut, banana, pineapple," Arcilla said. One way to revitalize the agriculture sector, Arcilla suggested, was for government to create alternative programs and not stick to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). CARP, launched by government through Republic Act 6657 in 1988, which sought to distribute 10 million hectares of agricultural lands to farmers and regular farm workers. "CARP has failed miserably,” declared Arcilla, “In other markets, there is no CARP and yet their farming sector is very progressive, very prosperous. Land reform is not an be all and end all. We should have an alternative, like cooperative farming, and there should be support like fertilizers and irrigation." — DVM, GMA News