MANILA, Sept 28 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his Cabinet discussed Tuesday several initiatives that would upskill the Philippine workforce, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. meets with his Cabinet members on Tuesday at Malacanang Palace. The meeting tackled several initiatives that would upskill the Philippine workforce. (MNS photo)

The upgrading of Filipino workers’ skills is part of the agenda of the ninth Cabinet meeting presided over by the President at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Tuesday morning.

In a Palace briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said developing the competitiveness of the country’s workforce will help the Marcos administration fulfill its goal of transforming the Philippine economy.

Cruz-Angeles noted that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) presented to Marcos several reforms that would strengthen human capital development.

“Ang DOLE naman, at TESDA, at CHED ay nag-discuss ng pag-upgrade ng (The DOLE, TESDA, and CHED discussed the upgrading of) skills of the Filipino workforce. Bahagi ito doon sa economic transformation program ng ating Pangulo (That is part of the economic transformation program of the President),” she said.

“Kasama po doon ‘yung educational aspect at isa po ito doon sa aspeto na ‘yun (It also covers the educational aspect). So, both vocational skills training and expanding the skills of our workforce [are] part of the economic transformation of the President,” Cruz-Angeles added.

During the New York Stock Exchange Economic Forum held in New York City on Sept. 20 (Manila time), Marcos emphasized the need to focus more on honing students’ skills to make them ready as they enter the workforce.

Marcos made the statement, as he acknowledged that Filipino workers are the country’s “best asset,” especially in sustaining economic transformation and growth.”

Marcos, during his meeting with members of Asia Society on Sept. 23, also said the Philippine economy will go beyond its pre-pandemic growth, given that the country is a “viable and smart” investment destination” and has a “very competent” workforce.

Cruz-Angeles, who also flew to New York City last week, earlier said Marcos had already directed the Department of Education (DepEd) to equip learners with proper skills that would turn them into “productive members of the society.”

The Marcos administration intends to make the Philippines a new and transformed nation by pursuing sustained cooperation and collaboration with the private sector and other governments.

The Philippine economy expanded by 5.7 percent in 2021 and 7.8 percent in the first half of 2022 because of government spending, household consumption, and investments reinforced by consumer and business confidence. (MNS)