Higher-paying jobs

March 25, 2019

Investments should not only offer high returns for the people who provide capital to finance business and industry.

They should also generate attractive or high compensation for employees and workers.

This is also the most effective way to keep highly skilled as well as professional workers from leaving the country and finding employment abroad. The move would also ensure a steady supply of quality labor for domestic industries and development projects.

Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara said the government should look for ways to attract investments that would create higher-paying jobs to encourage Filipinos to stay and work in the country.

"It's not enough that we create just more jobs, we need to create better jobs so we can prevent our countrymen from leaving the Philippines to work abroad," Angara said.

He said the government may consider launching a new "Made-in-the-Philippines" campaign, which would make use of the country's unique competitive advantage in the services sector.

"The Philippines is a services economy and a lead exporter of services, and we can use this as a starting point for a new Made-in-the-Philippines campaign," said the reelectionist senator, who is running under the platform "Alagang Angara."

The country's economy grew by 6.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, driven by the services sector which posted the highest share in the gross domestic product of 56.2 percent, followed by industry (34.8 percent), and agriculture (8.9 percent).

Angara said the Made-in-the-Philippine campaign does not have to be a particular good. "It can be a service that we perform, but we have to figure out what the core competencies are and try to leverage on that."

Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, said the government should also take the lead in beefing up investments in the manufacturing sector given its enormous potential to create jobs.

He cited the case of Freeport Area of Bataan, formerly Bataan Export Processing Zone, which created more than 20,000 jobs in about five years.

"That's something that you want to replicate all over the country. How did they do it? How do you build the manufacturing sector? How do you keep the BPO (business process outsourcing) momentum going? Someone has to put these efforts together," Angara said.

Angara also noted the sector's huge potential to create jobs for an estimated 2.29 million unemployed Filipinos.

The manufacturing sector refers to those industries which are involved in the manufacturing and processing of items and indulge in either creation of new commodities or in value addition.

The industries are broadly categorized into engineering, construction, electronics, chemicals, energy, textile, food and beverage, steel, plastics, and transport and telecommunications.