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Filipino migrant workers

Malacanang: Ph workers can compete with its Asian neighbors

Filipino migrant workers
Filipino migrant workers

MANILA, Philippines – The Palace made an assurance that Filipino workers can compete in Asia in terms of skills and talents in the regional market as more and more manufacturing companies opt to relocate to Southeast Asia.

The good thing about the Philippines is that it is entering a so-called “demographic sweet spot,” a period when the country will have a large pool of young workers, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan on Saturday.

“That’s why we want to make sure, as the President says, that we keep investing in human capital kasi ‘yun ang importante. While the investments in manufacturing come, we want to make sure that our labor force is prepared to meet the challenge,” she said.

Part of this initiative is forging close coordination between the Department of Labor and Employment, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education.

These agencies will advise students entering college what courses to enroll for them to land a job by the time they graduate, she said.

The important thing in the regional competition is that Filipino laborers and professionals have the skills that would be needed when the manufacturing firms come to the Philippines, the Palace official added.

There is also a good perception overseas about the country for being a manufacturing haven given its English speaking and talented workforce.

Valte said that every time that the President goes out of the country he meets businessmen professing interest in investing in the Philippines.

While there are those expressing their interest, companies that are already operating in the country continue to expand their operations, she added.

“In the end, government has to make sure that the labor force and the professionals are more than equipped to handle the challenges, to allow the manufacturing sector to grow,” Valte said.

“And I think makikita rin diyan, in the recent report— sa GDP report natin — makikita naman na lumalaki talaga ang pie ng manufacturing or its contribution to our GDP,” she added.

According to the report of global workforce solutions provider ManpowerGroup, while major companies want to relocate to Southeast Asia, there is skepticsm over the region’s capability to match China’s credentials.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.