Biz leader: Upgrading of Filipino workers needed amid mobilization of manpower

A LOCAL business leader said there is a need to upgrade the Filipino workforce amid the growing trend on the mobilization of manpower, particularly foreign nationals going to the Philippines as employees.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said migration of workers signals globalization or integration among countries.

Carbon said the Philippines has to prepare for this through one, scaling up the knowledge and skills of Filipino workers as well as those of future labor force.

"The world is becoming smaller, the Philippines is becoming more open to other nationals including those who wanted to work here," he said, adding that "if we will not upgrade, we cannot compete with other countries."

Local labor group General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa) earlier expressed alarm over the alleged "exodus" of Chinese workers in the country.

The group claimed that it deprives Filipino workforce of the employment opportunities.

Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of Gawa, has called on concerned government agencies to crackdown these foreign-workers not only in Metro Manila but also in Western Visayas.

Sancho said that based on the data of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), there are about 119,000 Chinese workers who were already given an alien working permit since 2015.

They were also given a special working permit by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), he claimed.

"It worries us labor group in the province. It is disadvantageous to the Filipino workers," Sancho said, adding that "supposed to be these works are being given to the Filipinos."

For the business group, Filipinos are also benefiting from the mobilization of workforce among countries.

Carbon said the skills, technologies and practices earned by overseas Filipino workers from other countries can also be replicated here when they returned to the Philippines.

At the same time, foreign workers can also bring the "learnings" they acquired in the Philippines to their respective countries, Carbon said.

"Integration is coming and we have to be ready for it," he said, adding that there is a need to improve the country's education curriculum.

The business leader said that it is good that the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has designed outcomes-based education (OBE) program among higher education institutions (HEIs).

Carbon said the initiative addresses the need to teach students with future knowledge and skills for future jobs.

"We should not teach our future talents with obsolete lessons. We need to prepare them for tomorrow's employment," he added.

Also, the labor group earlier claimed that there are about 9.8 million jobless Filipinos as of September 2018.

To address unemployment in the country, MBCCI saw the need for the government to support, develop and push for the creation of more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"With more enterprises thriving, more job opportunities are created," Carbon said, adding that about 80 to 90 percent of the entire business sector are MSMEs.


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