PHL preparing for surge in FDI with skills upgrade initiatives

THE PALACE said the expected surge in investment will be met with programs to upskill the workforce.

“The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is preparing for the entry of more foreign investors, particularly by ensuring that the Philippines has a pool of well-educated and highly-skilled workers,” the Presidential Communications Office said in a statement.

The DoLE is focusing on narrowing the gap between worker skills and employer needs, the Palace said, citing Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma.

Mr. Laguesma said upskilling workers must be industry-led and market-driven “so that workers can find employment that suits their skills.”

Skills mismatch issues can be addressed via targeted job fairs, “with the DoLE focusing on knowing the requirements of every industry to effectively address them,” the Palace said.

The Philippines ranked 80th out of 133 countries in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2022, which assessed the ability of the various countries to attract and retain a skilled workforce.

The Philippines’ ranking was down 10 places, from 70th out of 134 countries in the 2021 index.

“Another focus of the Marcos administration is ensuring that the Philippines has a cheap and stable energy supply that can sustain manufacturing industries that create jobs with the expected influx of foreign investors,” the Palace said.

The Department of Energy hopes to hit a 35% share for renewable energy in the overall energy mix by 2030. The target is 50% by 2040.

The underlying plan is to lower electricity prices by diversifying sources of energy, it added.

The government has firmed up $4.349 billion worth of investments which have now entered the implementation stage, according to a separate Palace statement, citing Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.

Investment commitments worth $29.712 billion “are in the form of memoranda of understanding and letters of intent,” it said.

“On the other hand, a total of $28.863 billion or P1.5 trillion worth of investment projects are now in the planning stages.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza