PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday asked business leaders to invest in education and skills training, and research and development (R&D) to help the government in accelerating job creation.
Mr. Marcos, speaking at the Arangkada forum organized by the Joint Foreign Chambers in the Philippines, said his administration aims to boost employment in the manufacturing sector and strengthen local production to reduce importation.
“As we reclaim our economic position in the world, I consider the participation of the private sector both local and foreign to be absolutely key to our success,” he said. “That is why we must continue this partnership,” he said.
“I think it’s also time to look inwards, into domestic markets here,” he added.
Mr. Marcos said developing the manufacturing sector would greatly contribute to expanding the country’s output as measured by gross domestic product growth.
Last week, the International Labor Organization said the Philippines has the potential to create more jobs in the manufacturing sector during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The manufacturing sector recorded the highest monthly increase in jobs in September, adding 780,000 to 4.45 million workers.
The Philippine jobless rate dropped to 5% in September, the lowest since the start of the pandemic. However, job quality worsened that month as underemployed Filipinos, or those looking for more work, increased to a six-month high of 15.4%.
Mr. Marcos also underscored that ensuring food security is the most pressing concern of his administration, along with reducing transport and logistics costs, and lessening energy costs.
“In these endeavors, we will need the help of foreign governments, of private partners who will bring in much-needed investments in modern and efficient farming and fisheries; new transport and logistics infrastructure; as well as new projects in conventional and renewable energy generation,” he said.
The Philippine leader also assured the business chambers that their concerns on ease of doing business is being addressed.
“We have improved but we have ways to go for that,” he said. “We talked about digitalization and how important that is going to be to improve the ease of doing business.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez