A Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official said on Thursday that 2 million more workers will be needed for the government’s “Build Build Build” infrastructure program, noting that it is ramping up efforts to provide trainings to those wishing to work in construction.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 1st Philippines-Japan Conference on Construction at Hotel Jen in Pasay City, Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group Ruth Castelo said the country has almost 4 million construction workers.
“Human resources is one of the industry’s most critical assets. If we push to adequately capacitate and utilize our construction workforce, we believe that it could drive forward the industry’s competitive advantage,” Castelo said.
“In the Philippines, there [is a 3.86 million-strong]workforce in the construction industry, and we expect to need 2 million more to be able to address the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build [program],” she added.
The DTI official said the government is implementing interventions to encourage more workers to join the industry.
“We need to do massive trainings. We need a lot of technology and to be able to put proper discipline in our workers, and that is why we need to collaborate more with the Japanese, because we believe in their capabilities,” Castelo said.
The half-day conference—organized by the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), through its human resource development arm, the Construction Manpower Development Foundation (CMDF), in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism—brought together industry leaders to develop a more dynamic partnership between the Philippine and Japanese construction sectors.
Castelo said the conference aimed to boost strategic cooperation between Manila and Tokyo in developing programs and interventions for the construction industry.
“This event will allow us to recognize our collective potentials and formulate initiatives to support the harmonization of our shared capacities. This will also serve as an avenue for potential partnerships between Philippine and Japanese enterprises,” she added.
“I cannot overemphasize how vital the construction industry is to our cuntry’s development, both in generating employment and providing infrastructures that our country needs to compete globally. Indeed, it has become an engine that drives growth, stability and competitiveness,” the trade undersecretary said.