PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte admitted Thursday, Feb. 14 that the government’s infrastructure projects are facing delay because of lack of skilled workers.
In a speech delivered in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Duterte said the government’s infrastructure projects are facing delay because of a lack of skilled workers.
“Itong ‘Build, Build, Build,’ medyo atrasado. Walang trabahante (We lack skilled workers, causing delay in the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program),” he said during the proclamation and kick-off rally of his political party, Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
Duterte’s admission came amid the influx of Chinese nationals who ended up as workers in the country, most of them getting jobs in construction.
Malacañang earlier said the growing number of Chinese migrant workers in the Philippines should not be a cause for concern, if they have undergone a “lawful” process.
Malacañang had also explained that more Chinese workers had to be hired, because Filipinos skilled in construction works opt to seek jobs overseas.
In a press conference held Friday, Feb. 15, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the current administration, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), is already acting on the shortage of skilled construction workers.
“He (Duterte) directed the Tesda chief to do something about it kasi we are lacking in experts in carpentry, welding. ‘Yung mga technical. Kulang eh. Marami ho tayong mga taong hindi empleyado, whether sa gobyerno o kampanya kasi hindi naman sila qualified, lalo na ‘yung mga vocational, lalo na sa construction,” the Palace official said.
(Duterte directed the Tesda chief to do something about it because we are lacking in experts in carpentry and welding. We lack people who know about technical works. There are many unemployed Filipinos, whether in government or private sector, but they are not qualified, especially when it comes to construction).
“In other words, we’re doing something about it. That is the response,” he added.
On Feb. 7, the Palace signed Memorandum Circular (MC) 57, directing all government offices, agencies and instrumentalities to ensure “timely” completion of infrastructure projects. (Ruth Abbey Gita of Sunstar Philippines)