MILLIONS of jobless and underemployed Filipinos continue to pin their hopes on the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration, which begins its third year in office on June 30.
The unprecedented infrastructure campaign of the government is seen to create an average of 1.1 million jobs annually, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
But the NEDA secretary was quick to emphasize that to fully maximize gains from the BBB, the country’s labor market should be ready to meet the infrastructure program’s requirements.
That’s why Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia wants key government offices to coordinate with industries to identify appropriate skills for construction-related activities.
These offices include the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
For this year, the government, through NEDA, expects around 820,000 jobs to be generated with a number of infrastructure projects breaking ground in various parts of the country.
Pernia said the “K to 12” program requires a strong academe-industry linkage to prepare students after graduation. “Build, Build, Build presents real opportunities for those in search of work,” he added.
In fact, the highly-controversial “K to 12” program, which added two years to basic education, is expected to produce a more appropriately trained and skilled workforce.
Note that many Filipinos now want the government to create more well-paying local jobs and stop depending on manpower export industry to meet the employment needs of our workers.
It is certainly saddening that Filipino workers, including our best nurses, medical doctors, engineers and teachers, still prefer to go abroad because of the low pay of employees in the country.
Sana ang “Build, Build, Build” program ay makatulong para mabawas-bawasan ang bilang ng mga kababayan nating nagpapakamatay para lang makapagtrabaho sa labas ng bansa.