Renewable energy projects will generate 75,000 jobs – labor chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Marcos administration’s aggressive push to invite foreign investors into the country’s burgeoning renewable energy sector is starting to bear fruit, with commitments in place to invest in projects that will generate around 75,000 new jobs, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said on Tuesday.
Laguesma said in a Malacañang press briefing that Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual had informed him that several projects in the power industry “will materialize,” particularly in renewable energy, thanks in part to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s foreign trips during which he talked to business groups about local investment prospects.
Among the countries where investments are expected to come from are Germany, Singapore, the United States, and the Netherlands, Laguesma said.
“He (Pascual) mentioned that it (setting up of businesses) is being processed and he mentioned that it can create — if I’m not mistaken, he mentioned around 75,000 [jobs] from the five countries that expressed their commitment [to invest in renewable energy],” he added.
Laguesma, Pascual, and Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan were among the Cabinet officials who attended the weekly sectoral meeting on Tuesday with President Marcos in the Palace.
In his briefing, Laguesma said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Department of Energy to ensure that there will be enough manpower to complete these planned renewable energy projects.
“We want to look into our available manpower if we are ready to respond to their needs [for workers],” he said.
The labor chief did not elaborate, however, on whether these planned investments will be set up by private firms or by state-run companies. He also did not specify the jobs that will be required to see these projects to fruition.
Laguesma just said that various government agencies as well as the private sector were working closely to ensure that these projects would proceed smoothly.
“We should include the private sector and the important departments in the steps we’re making to create these additional jobs so that we’ll be helping each other and make sure that the ones who will be investing will not become frustrated or discouraged. They should see that the infrastructure they need, as well as the manpower requirement, is already in place,” Laguesma said.
He talked about these new jobs in the renewable energy sector as part of the presentation of Dole’s Philippine Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028 (LEP) during the sectoral meeting.
The LEP is in line with Marcos’ 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 aimed at reducing unemployment and addressing underemployment with better jobs.
The LEP implements PDP’s Chapter 4, which seeks increased income earning ability of Filipinos.
The labor plan has three priorities: maximizing productive, remunerative, freely chosen, quality and sustainable job opportunities; ensuring respect for all rights at work, international commitments and human rights; and building an inclusive social protection for all, Laguesma said.
He said the infrastructure sector was expected to be the top contributor to job generation, with more than three million jobs expected to be added through the administration’s big-ticket “Build Better More” projects. Other contributors include tourism, agriculture, health, and the business process outsourcing sectors, he said.