Her Excellency, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay L. Carlson; USAID Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks; Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr.; Biñan Representative Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat; Unilab Foundation President and United Health Group President and CEO Clinton Campos Hess; distinguished guests—good morning.

Congratulations to the USAID, Unilab Foundation, and the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AmDev).

Initiatives such as AmDev are vital as we at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) work with the rest of the government and its partners to tap the immense potential of the Philippines as a manufacturing hub. We are pursuing an industrialization strategy driven by science, technology, and innovation. This approach will make our industries more innovative and competitive, and thus, able to contribute better to our economy and generate high-quality and better-paying jobs for Filipinos.

Our larger goal is to usher in the next era of our country’s industrialization. And we are pursuing this, among others, by embracing Industry 4.0 technologies.

Manufacturing belongs to our IMT or Industrial, Manufacturing, and Transport priority cluster. The IMT cluster capitalizes on the Philippines’ existing competence in such sectors as electronics and semiconductors, and the opportunities brought about by reconfiguring global value chains. We encourage investments in IMT and pursue initiatives specific to manufacturing. For example, our Manufacturing Resurgence Program seeks to provide access to raw materials, fill industry supply chain gaps, and expand domestic and export markets for manufactured Filipino products.

Crucial to manufacturing development is the upskilling and reskilling of our workforce. Preparing our workforce for future jobs is essential and one of the DTI’s strategic priorities. We note that AmDev seeks to create a highly skilled and adaptive workforce that meets the evolving requirements of the high-tech manufacturing sector. Thus, we at the DTI warmly welcome and fully support this USAID initiative,

We do encourage employers to assume responsibility for the training of workers. But we also recognize aligning systems of learning as equally important. With around 790,000 Filipino graduates annually, companies should find it promising to readily recruit our smart, young, and productive workforce for their manufacturing operations. AmDev’s goal to improve the capacity of our education system to develop human capital, aligned with the requirements of Industry 4.0, is crucial.

Further, AmDev’s education and training approaches—through innovative and flexible delivery options—complement the government’s work to be responsive to the learning needs and realities of our workforce, including manufacturing.

We are also open to working with AmDev as it seeks to enhance the enabling environment for creating an advanced manufacturing pipeline. Discussions on advocacy, research, and policy will be welcome, so we can work together to develop a holistic and responsive competency framework for the manufacturing industry.

As our manufacturing workforce advances with the needs of the industry, we push our country’s industrialization further. Beyond this, our manufacturing workforce can become more responsive, vibrant, and thriving.

On behalf of DTI, I wish AmDev all success.

Thank you!*

Date of release: 13 March 2023