Solar panels are being installed on the roof of a mall. — GREEN HEAT HANDOUT PHOTO

THE Department of Trade and Industry said upskilling and reskilling the workforce will be instrumental in any effort to sustain investment interest as the Philippines navigates the transition to greener technology.

“We need to stay on top of the game in terms of constantly upskilling and reskilling our labor force especially because there are skillsets coming up now that were not present before,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said on the sidelines of the launch of the Green Transition Investment Program (GTIP) in Makati City on Wednesday.

“There is a really a need to upskill our human resource as we transition towards a more sustainable future,” he added.

Mr. Rodolfo noted the need for skilled workers for the wind power and solar power industry.   

“There are certain key industries that will be important, such as renewable energy. We are focusing on two areas such as offshore wind power and floating solar power. The kind of skills needed to develop these industries in the Philippines. There is already a base of human talent, but that has to be upskilled,” Mr. Rodolfo said.  

Mr. Rodolfo added that talent remains a key selling point when promoting the Philippines to foreign investment.

“Wherever we go in promoting the Philippines, there is really one thing that resonates with investors and that is the presence of talent. That has been a big factor for companies to locate in the country and for companies in other countries to recruit Filipino talent.”

“The Philippines is positioning itself for sustainability, innovation-driven, and creativity for the region. These open up investment opportunities on very important sectors such as renewable energy, data centers, and high-tech industries,” he added.

The event Mr. Rodolfo attended, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), launched the GTIP on Wednesday, which seeks to accelerate the green transition of the Philippines by mobilizing investment in downstream waste management infrastructure and circular economy startups.

The GTIP, a three-year program, is managed by GGGI on behalf of Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Investments will be coupled with technical vocational education and training (TVET) aimed at creating green jobs.

“The expected impact of the GTIP is that green transition training and investment in beneficiary countries are accelerated, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and creation of green jobs for the Philippines,” Finnish Ambassador to the Philippines Juha Pyykko said.

“The GGGI, in cooperation with Finnish TVET institutions, as well as public and private TVET institutions, will design a high-impact and inclusive green vocational training program. The investment component aims to mitigate barriers to green investment, especially technology and credit risk,” he added.

Juhern Kim, GGGI country representative to the Philippines, said the Philippines’ status as a big plastic waste producer can make it a breeding ground for circular-economy startups.

“The startup and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs) market dealing with the circular economy is growing fast and there are opportunities in the Philippines,” Mr. Kim said, describing the country as a “sachet economy” with small retail purchases encouraging the use of single-use plastic packaging.

GGGI is based in South Korea and supports and promotes sustainable economic growth in developing countries. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave