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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Marcos pushes for retraining of returning OFWs

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In a bid to address the employment challenges faced by returning overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), President Marcos has announced plans to bolster the retraining programs aimed at reintegrating these workers into the local workforce.

The initiative is a direct response to the difficulties that many OFWs encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic when they were forced to return home for health and safety reasons. President Marcos noted how a lot of them struggled to find alternative sources of livelihood.

“We had to find jobs for the OFWs that had come back,” the President stressed.

President Marcos emphasized the importance of partnerships between the government and private sector to provide incentives and better opportunities for these workers. The goal is to equip them with new skills and ensure their successful reintegration into the workforce.

Mr. Marcos cited the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Project as a key program addressing this issue. TUPAD supports not only displaced OFWs, but also local workers who have lost their jobs for various reasons.

TUPAD is being implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has also expanded its role in providing retraining and upskilling opportunities.

Highlighting the importance of private sector involvement, President Marcos pointed to the maritime industry as an exemplary model of successful collaboration.

By enhancing these retraining programs and fostering public-private partnerships, President Marcos aims to ensure that returning OFWs have the necessary skills and job opportunities to thrive in a post-pandemic economy.

On Wednesday, President Marcos engaged in a strategic discussion with major players in the energy sector of Brunei, where he expressed the Philippines’ intention to embark on waste-to-energy (WTE) projects amid the global shift from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives.

In a high-level dialogue in Bandar Seri Begawan, President Marcos tried generating potential investments in the Philippine renewable energy (RE) sector and enhancements on oil and gas collaborations.

Present during the meeting were key representatives from Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn. Bhd (BSP), Brunei LNG Sdn. Bhd (BLNG), Total Energies in Brunei, Serikandi Oilfield Services Sdn Bhd, and Adinin Group of Companies.

Mr. Marcos said there is significant interest in WTE solutions though it’s currently at the micro level, primarily involving local governments. He mentioned that the traditional method of exporting waste to landfills is no longer viable, particularly in large cities, where innovative solutions are most needed.

The President emphasized the necessity of developing the right infrastructure to harness energy from landfills, noting ongoing challenges such as legal and regulatory hurdles, and the need for scalable waste management systems by local government units (LGUs).

He highlighted the complexities of organizing effective garbage collection and the political intricacies involved. But he expressed optimism that legislation is being made to address this problem, with a growing recognition of viable, clean solutions to waste disposal.

Brunei is actively exploring renewable energy-based connectivity with neighboring countries, although oil and gas remain central to the regional energy mix during this transitional period.

The Philippines has committed to reducing carbon emissions and advancing renewable energy, in line with global climate change mitigation efforts.

Enabling policies like the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which eases foreign equity restrictions, particularly for investments in solar, wind, and tidal energy, have been instrumental in attracting more investments.

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