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The DTI-BOI together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Metal Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and the Philippine Die and Mold Association, Inc. (PDMA) welcomed its third batch of trained tool die and mold scholars during a ceremony held earlier this month in Taguig City.  
“While we already have the appropriate policies and plans in place, we still need to constantly enhance the qualifications of our Filipino workers. Of particular importance is the need to upgrade the internal capability of the local tool die and mold industry by providing a significant pool of trained and highly skilled die and mold designers and makers. Doing so will enable us to draw out and harness the industry’s full potential and strengthen necessary linkages in the local manufacturing sector’s value chain,” Rodolfo said.
According to DTI-BOI, the tool and die industries is a skill-intensive and technology-dependent sector, and to remain competitive, die and mould makers have to learn the ever-changing technologies in design and manufacturing. Its products include dies (simple, compound and progressive), molds (for forging, plastics injection or blow molding, die casting, glass blow molding) and tools (e.g. jigs and fixtures) used for cutting and shaping different materials. 
“Establishing the necessary support measures and policies to improve the global foothold of the local tool and die industry of the Philippines and provide more meaningful employment opportunities,” Rodolfo added.
The export data of the tool and die industry shows that its highest export revenue was achieved in year 2000 i.e. USD 9 million. In 2001, the said value dropped to almost USD 2 million and stayed at this level until 2010 but drastically increased to almost USD 8 million in 2011 to 2012.
Meanwhile, BOI Heavy Industries Division - Manufacturing Industries Services Division Chief Mr. Amelito Umali said that the tool and die industry is a key niche of Filipino small and medium enterprise (SME) metalworking companies, exhibiting vital links to the Philippine automotive, electronics & semiconductor, furniture, housewares and appliances industries.
“A priority strategic sector for localization, this industry’s competitiveness can contribute to manufacturing cost efficiency of the heavy manufacturing industries such as the automotive and electronics and semiconductor industries,” he said. 
This capacity-building initiative is under the “Enhancing Tool and Die Industry Competitiveness by Expanding the Pool of Trained and Highly Skilled Die and Mold Designer and Makers” or the D2M2 Project is identified in the Tool and Die Industry Roadmap. The roadmap outlines strategies in the short-run (2015-2016), such as Manpower Improvement, Technology Upgrade and Modernization, and Indigenous Sourcing of Critical Materials.
The crafting of industry roadmaps are private-sector led, in collaboration with DTI-BOI, academe and civil society. This aims to chart the direction, goals and strategies for key industries to revive and increase the contribution of the country’s manufacturing industry. This will then form the basis for the development of the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy which will link manufacturing with agriculture and services; strengthen forward and backward linkages in the economy; and, build globally competitive Philippine industries.
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