By Wilnard Bacelonia

FUTURE OF FILIPINO WORKFORCE. Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri explains the benefits of Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 during a public consultation in Baguio City on Friday (May 17, 2024). Zubiri highlighted the importance of training the Filipino workforce for the expected influx of foreign investors once constitutional amendments are approved. (Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA – Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday told the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to step up in preparing the Filipino workforce for the expected influx of foreign companies once Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 is approved by Congress.

Malaking bagay ‘yung TESDA kapag na-amend natin yung konstitusyon na may (TESDA has a big role once we amend the Constitution with) foreign investments freely flowing into the Philippines lalo na sa (especially in) manufacturing,” Zubiri said during the public consultation on RBH 6 in Baguio City.

Zubiri cited as an example the partnership created by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with US equity firm Cerberus and South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in Subic Bay, which is seen to enable the Philippines to regain its footing in the shipbuilding industry.

“You need to step up your game, because once this opens, more investments will come to the Philippines. Kayo ang magiging leader nitong explosion na ito (You will be the leader in this explosion) when we talk about training new skills to our Filipino workers,” he said.

Zubiri issued the “challenge” to TESDA La Union Regional Training Center Administrator Artemio Pulido after the latter expressed his support for the proposed amendments, particularly on allowing full foreign ownership in higher education.

Pulido believes that the proposed amendment on higher education “has long been overdue.”

“As far as TESDA is concerned, specifically our training centers, we always see to it that our graduates always have the most advanced technology,” Pulido assured.

“In order for us to do that, we are sending our trainers, and even students, in international training centers to get the expertise para pagbalik po nila (so when they come back), they will be able to share what they have gained in these international training institutions.”

If RBH 6 will be approved and allow international training institutions to operate in the country, Pulido said they also expect local skilled workers to be trained on the latest technology and become more competitive in the international labor market.

Introduced by Zubiri, RBH 6 seeks to amend Articles 12, 14 and 16 of the 1987 Constitution, addressing restrictions on foreign ownership in public utilities, educational institutions and the advertising industry. (PNA)