Villanueva doubts Philippines lacks skilled workers
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday said he doubts that the country lacks skilled workers, contrary to the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Mali po na sabihing wala tayong enough supply ng skilled workers sa construction kaya nag-open up na tayo sa mga foreign workers,” said Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development probing on the influx of illegal foreign workers in the country.
He noted that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) was able to produce 234,546 graduates for the construction industry and other related fields.
He also challenged the claim that a large number of skilled worker opted to work overseas.
“Mali din po ang paniniwala na nag-abroad na lahat ang ating mga kababayan,” he said, noting that 97 percent of employed graduates are still in the Philippines.
“So, wala pang 6,000 graduates ng construction related qualifications ang umalis ng bansa noong 2018,” Villanueva said.
President Duterte earlier said the shortage of skilled workers is stalling infrastructure projects under his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program. /gsg
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