Besides creating the literal roads to lead the country into a progressive future, President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program is also creating a huge number of quality job opportunities in the country. The recent approval of more flagship infrastructure plans is predicted to create as many as 200,000 direct jobs, with even more to be potentially generated if the current pipeline expands past the present 100 projects. This is especially good news for OFWs who are looking for employment opportunities back home in the Philippines.
According to Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Vivencio Dizon, the projects would benefit the hundreds of thousands of skilled workers who would find employment in the projects as well as up to a million more Filipinos who could see gain from the indirect livelihood opportunities that would be generated.
Dizon said that while the current labor market could accommodate the recent increase in projects for implementation, government programs like the Department of Labor and Employment’s “Balik-Manggagawa” initiative can bring back highly skilled OFWs. Many migrant workers left the country to work on foreign infrastructure projects and the expertise they gained abroad would serve well in the development of the Philippines.
The employment opportunities are not limited to just the current projects as well. More and more infrastructure proposals are getting the greenlight – proof that the administration’s investment in the country’s progress is not just a passing phase. Dizon said that while the Build, Build, Build initiative is a fast creator of jobs, it also provides sustained employment opportunities as the “projects don’t end”.
“After a project ends, construction workers automatically get another job because the projects never end. The gestation period of these projects will be at least anywhere between three and seven years,” Dizon explained.
“Also, the infrastructure is being boosted further by private-sector investment because once they start seeing infrastructure, the private sector also invests. So, it’s really a virtuous cycle of various multiplier effects throughout the economy,” Dizon added.
This cycle of development would attract more kinds of opportunities. As communities grow around infrastructure projects, urban areas would decongest and more types of skilled OFWs, like caretakers, educators, healthcare professionals, would be led home by good opportunities.
Dizon said that the current list of 100 projects is set to expand further with the influx of proposals coming from both implementing government agencies and private-sector proponents.
The recent meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (NEDA ICC-CabCom) on December 20 last year gave the green light to P626.1 billion worth of projects. These would start implementation this year, as they have already been deemed feasible.