The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) are pursuing a partnership to build up the skill sets of Filipino workers in certain industries to boost the country’s global competitiveness.
In a statement, JICA said the partnership also aims to promote linkages between foreign and local companies, and support policies to enhance the supply and value chain (SVCD) and capacity development of local companies.
This came as JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez agreed to discuss a four-year technical cooperation on the “Development Planning Enhancement of Industrial Competitiveness through Industrial Human Resource Development (IHRD) and Supply and Value Chain Development.”
This technical cooperation aims to advance the Philippines’ attractiveness as an investment destination, specifically for automotive and auto parts companies, as well as investors in information technology, electronics and engineering services.
These industries were identified under the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS) because of their strong forward and backward linkages that have a multiplier effect on the economy in terms of job creation and value added.
“The cooperation is part of our comprehensive approach to support the Philippine government’s socio-economic priorities, such as investing in human capital development and increasing competitiveness,” Ito said.
“Through this partnership with the DTI, JICA will also work with pilot universities, relevant local and foreign industries, local suppliers and training institutions,” he added.
Under the project, pilot universities will review and update their curricula and training/immersion programs to make Filipino graduates competitive in the market, while local and foreign industries could join business-matching activities.
Local suppliers could also work with foreign companies and get support for management and marketing capacity-building, market access and productivity improvement.
Training institutions, meanwhile, would receive assistance in reviewing their programs and enhancing their industry linkages.
JICA said that, through the project’s activities, operational models of SVCD and IHRD will be implemented and replicated in other industries and regions, while strengthening foreign-local company linkages.
The cooperation will also involve capacity development for counterpart government agencies and Philippine companies in the automotive industry.