MANILA, Philippines - The board of directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $350 million loan for the Philippines to improve business climate by promoting competitiveness and developing labor skills among out-of-school youth.
“There has been marked improvement in the Philippines’ global competitiveness, but regulation, lack of domestic competition in key sectors, underinvestment in infrastructure and a mismatch of skills in the labor market are keeping the country from realizing its full potential,” said Kunio Senga, Director General of Southeast Asia Department.
The “Increasing Competitiveness for Inclusive Growth Program” loan was jointly formulated by the Philippine government, ADB and Japan. The latter is expected to co-finance $100 million via the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
ADB will work with the Department of Labor and Employment for a youth job search program, called MyFirstJob. It will be piloted next year.
It seeks to initially provide up to 1,600 youth with career counseling services, grants for vocational training, and internships with employers.
Besides MyFirstJob, ADB will also implement tourism industry-led skills development program and a new tourism quality assurance and accreditation system that will improve skills and competitiveness in the tourism industry.