BIÑAN, Laguna: President Benigno Aquino on Labor Day said that the manufacturing sector increased its contribution to the national economy in 2013 by 22.8 percent.
A large portion of that came from the electronics industry, contributing 40.4 percent of the country’s exports worth $53.98 billion.
The President added that electronics exports accounted for about 18.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
On Labor Day, the President, together with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) director general Joel Villanueva, visited three semiconductor and electronics companies in Laguna province, drawing attention to the industry, which is considered among the growth drivers of the economy.
Aquino and Villanueva and officials of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI), which represents the largest organization of foreign and local semiconductor and electronics companies in the country, visited the three companies in Calamba and Binan in Laguna, namely, Testech Inc., Alliance Mansols Inc. and the Integrated Micro Electronics Inc.
In his speech, Aquino highlighted his administration’s achievements, which were related to improvements in the manufacturing industry and job generation.
He cited the success of the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). He said in 2013, 130 scholars trained at Testech Incorporated, 113 of whom were hired.
The program also trained 100 scholars at Integrated Micro Electronics Inc., and 400 at Alliance Mansols Inc., all of whom were employed.
In March, the state skills training agency and SEIPI signed an agreement for the training of 5,172 scholars, with Tesda infusing P30 million for the project which aims to train existing workers in the industry and the pre-employment training and retooling of incoming workers in the semiconductor and electronics sector.
The latest batch of scholars will bring the total number of beneficiaries to 8,475. The first set of 2,404 beneficiaries took the training from October 2012 to May 2013 while the second batch of training from November to December 2013 produced 899 graduates.
Villanueva noted that both batches of graduates had at least 91.43 percent employment rates.
Currently, Tesda and SEIPI are also working on the development of Training Regulations for the following courses: Semiconductor and Hard Disk Drive Frontline Operations; Semiconductor Electronics and Hard Disk Drive Production Line Backend Operations; Electronics Frontline Operations; Semiconductor, Electronics, and Hard Disk Drive Manufacturing Process Sustenance; Semiconductor, Electronics, and Hard Disk Drive Servicing, Repair and Maintenance; and, Laboratory Equipment and Test Operations.
“You see, we just did what was right. We talked to investors honestly, and the result: 91.43 percent employment rate at the semiconductors and electronic industry—just a little more and we will reach 100 percent,” he said.
“This is just proof that when Filipinos are given the right chances, they will truly shine, which contributes to their personal and the country’s success,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Aquino vowed to continue focusing on the labor sector, which he said has significant effects on growing the economy and reducing poverty.
“All our projects in the straight and narrow path—from agriculture, to infrastructure, to tourism, even public service—every initiative of ours in the past years, according to NEDA, will decrease the number of Filipinos under the poverty line by 3 percentage points from the first semester of 2012, toward 2013,” he said.