November 29, 2017
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are pushing for a partnership model among academe, industry, and government to build the skill sets of the Filipino workforce in target industries and further boost the country's global competitiveness.
Said partnership also aims to promote linkage between foreign and local companies, and support policy to enhance Supply and Value Chain (SVCD) and capacity development of local companies.
JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez signed on November 29, 2017 the Record of Discussion for a four-year technical cooperation for Development Planning "Enhancement of Industrial Competitiveness through Industrial Human Resource Development (IHRD) and Supply and Value Chain Development."
The cooperation is the latest push to help advance the Philippines' attractiveness as an investment destination, specifically for automotive and auto parts companies, as well as investors in IT, electronics, and engineering services. Said industries were identified under the Philippines' Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS) because of their strong forward and backward linkages that has a multiplier effect to the economy in terms of job creation and value added.
"The cooperation is part of our comprehensive approach to support the Philippine government's socio-economic priorities such as investing in human capital development and increasing competitiveness," said Ito. "Through this partnership with DTI, JICA will also work with pilot universities, relevant local and foreign industries, local suppliers and training institutions."
Under the project, pilot universities will review and update the curriculum and training/immersion programs to make Filipino graduates competitive, while local and foreign industries could join business matching activities among others. Likewise, local suppliers could work with foreign companies and get support for management and marketing capacity building, market access, and productivity improvement. Training institutions, meanwhile, would also receive assistance in reviewing their programs and enhancing their industry linkages.
Through the project's activities, operational models of SVCD and IHRD will be implemented and replicated to other industries and regions, while strengthening foreign-local company linkages.
The cooperation will also involve capacity development for counterpart government agencies and Philippine companies in the automotive industry.
The project complements JICA's ongoing cooperation with the Board of Investments (BOI) "Elaboration of industrial Promotion Plans Using Value Chain Analysis" that seeks to support the country's industrial promotions strategies on auto-related manufacturing industries.
Already, JICA has concluded its development assistance to help improve implementation of technical vocational track under the country's K+12 Program through senior high school modeling in select technical vocational schools in the country, training of teachers, and provision of equipment.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (left) and JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito (right) during the signing of the Record of Discussion for the Technical Cooperation for Development Planning, "Enhancement of Industrial Competitiveness through Industrial Human Resource Development (IHRD) and Supply and Value Chain Development."