L to R: Advanced Manufacturing Skills Council (AMSC) Director Patricia Siriban, DTI-Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG) Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Unilab Foundation Executive Director Lilibeth Aristorenas, Advanced Manufacturing Development Workforce Alliance (AMDev) Chief of Party Dr. Danilo Lachica, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn

MAKATI CITY—On 07 November 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Unilab Foundation and the Makati Business Club (MBC) to strengthen the Philippine workforce to respond to the needs of the industry, specifically in the manufacturing sector at the Board of Investments building. He emphasized that the recently inked partnership aims to enhance employment, reduce unemployment and underemployment, and accelerate human capital development in the Philippines.

Secretary Pascual underscored the significance of the collaborations of public and private sectors and stressed, “By leveraging these partnerships, we can harness the collective knowledge, resources, and expertise of both sectors to provide our workers with the skills and training they need. This not only equips our workforce to remain globally competitive but also empowers them to excel in the face of rapid technological changes.”

The DTI chief highlighted that the initiative is aimed at empowering Filipino workers and positioning them to be globally competitive and future-ready. He also added that pursuing strategic alliances prepares the nation’s workforce for the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The trade and industry chief explained that the memorandum signed will be pivotal in advancing the Department’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI)-driven Industrialization Strategy. He also cited that the partnership with AMDev is poised to accelerate digital transformation, enhance human capital through upskilling and reskilling, and provide workers with valuable skills for an ever-evolving job market.

Further, he emphasized that this initiative goes beyond generating employment opportunities; he underscored that this shared effort will provide an avenue to nurture economic growth, alleviate poverty, and facilitate the creation of robust and vibrant communities.

Secretary Pascual recognized the collaboration with AMDev as a  commitment to enhancing the country’s manufacturing industry through a collaborative and forward-thinking approach to workforce development that acknowledges the transformative power of public-private partnerships.

With the strategic cooperation in momentum, the DTI chief presented plans to formulate the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF) for Manufacturing. He also committed to advancing the AMDev Program through active engagement and close partnership with ULF and MBC in shaping policies and advocating for advanced manufacturing workforce development.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, the DTI chief also vowed to work closely with AMDev in forming an Advanced Manufacturing Skills Council (AMSC) that will ensure the effective development of advanced manufacturing skills.

The MOU signing ceremony was hosted by the Advanced Manufacturing Development Workforce Alliance (AMDev), a five-year program implemented by the Unilab Foundation (ULF) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

AMDev, an industry-led alliance, aims to upskill and reskill incoming and existing workforce to meet the demands of the manufacturing sector in the Philippines. It collaborates with government agencies, manufacturing companies, schools, and private organizations to streamline efforts and establish long-term projects.

Highlighting their shared goal of a better future for Bagong Pilipinas, Secretary Pascual stressed, “Again, I am grateful to those involved in bringing this MOU to fruition. Your dedication and commitment to this partnership are truly commendable. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the manufacturing sector and, by extension, the broader Philippine workforce.” ♦

Date of release: 09 November 2023