By Eimor P. Santos, CNN Philippines
Updated 16:15 PM PHT Sat, November 28, 2015
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) expects more employment opportunities for Filipinos following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit hosted by the country.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz initially identified nine countries that have boosted “vibrant trade relations” with the Philippines during the APEC week.
“The bilateral meetings of the Philippines with Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and the United States of America, resulted to identification of potential investment areas and employment opportunities,” Baldoz said in a press release on Friday (November 27).
Philippine labor picture
There are 2.72 million unemployed Filipinos as of July 2015, according to the latest Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Eight million more are underemployed, which refers to those who are employed but want additional working hours or another job.
The latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in September paints a direr picture, saying about 10 million Filipino adults are unemployed.
Australia: Tech-voc jobs
During the sidelines of the APEC economic leaders’ meeting, the Philippine government sealed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia, strengthening the cooperation and exchange of information in technical vocational education and training (TVET) between the two countries.
Signed by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, the deal mandates collaboration between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Australia’s Department of Education and Training.
From June 2010 to 2014, there were over 7.1 million graduates of the government’s TVET programs, which TESDA said had a 65 percent employment rate.
Baldoz said potential Australian investments would be in the following industries: processed food and agribusiness, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), engineering services, infrastructure and private-public partnership projects (PPP), automotive parts exports, and manufacturing.
Japan: Manufacturing, services
The bilateral meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could pave the way for investments in a number of industries, Baldoz said.
According to Baldoz, the agency sees investments and employment opportunities in the copper mining sector and manufacturing sector — specifically of automotive parts, printer, and printing parts, and medical devices. There could also be more jobs in the services sector, particularly on IT-BPM and gaming development.
She added that the Philippines will increase exports of photosensitive semiconductor devices which include photovoltaic cells, ignition wiring sets, and other wiring devices used in vehicles, aircraft, ships, and other vessels. It could also produce more copper ores and wood products for Japan.
Here are other investment and employment opportunities the DOLE cited from different APEC member countries.
Korea: shipbuilding, manufacture of automotive and electronic products (printers, integrated circuits, LED modules), agribusiness (food production and processing), banking and finance, renewable energy, and tourism (hotel, retirement village, infrastructure)
Mexico: tourism, infrastructure, energy, and manufacture of food, electronics, pharmaceutical, fabricated metal, aerospace, and consumer products
New Zealand: IT-BPM and engineering services, infrastructure and PPP, agribusiness, and manufacturing of processed food, automotive products, etc.
Peru: infrastructure, energy, electronics, and manufacture of food and agribusiness, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace, fabricated metal, and consumer products
Papua New Guinea: infrastructure and PPP, IT-BPM, shipbuilding, energy, and agribusiness, as well as potential investment and trade in the areas of cannery, consulting, engineering, building and construction, services, retail, ports development, air services, and agriculture and agro-industries (through exchange of professionals and scientists, information, and technology; and collaborative studies on agriculture and cooperation in rice farming and production)
Russia: IT-BPM, non-renewable and renewable energy, and manufacture of processed and specialty food, aerospace, and design-driven products
United States: IT-BPM, manufacture of food, electronics, energy, pharmaceutical and aerospace products, and infrastructure
“These potential investment and employment opportunities are tangible outcomes of the Philippines’ hosting and active participation in the APEC,” Baldoz said.