Philippines can be 'major player' in AI jobs, says trade chief


Posted at Jul 01 2019 11:05 AM

MANILA -- The Philippines can be a "major player" in the utilization of artificial intelligence, backed by a young work force that can meet employers' demands, a Cabinet official said Monday.

Of the 700,000 new graduates in the Philippines every year, roughly 75,000 are in the STEM or science, technology and mathematics fields, said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Part of Manila's plan is to make the Philippines a "center of excellence" for AI, in the same way it attracted foreign companies that fueled the business process outsourcing or BPO industry, he said.

"Our competitive advantage is really our human capital," Lopez said.

"From the government side, what we have to do is really scale up the capabilities, really, human capital development and skills development so that we can prepare how to manage AI as part of the industry," he said.

The private sector is taking the lead role in adopting AI technologies, he said.