MANILA - The Department of Labor and Local Employment (DOLE) on Thursday said it was slowing down the deployment of construction workers abroad by at least 90 percent to address the manpower shortage in the local construction sector.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said over 800,000 to 1 million skilled workers in the construction, architecture, and engineering fields are needed until 2022 as the government implements the “Build Build Build” program, which seeks to accelerate infrastructure spending and develop industries.
There are some 28 projects under the program that are targeted to be completed before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in 2022.
“There is a strong local jobs growth but vacancies are not filled either because of skilled workers going abroad or their skills do not match to the available jobs in the market,” Bello said.
The labor chief added that the DOLE already tapped the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), along with other concerned agencies, to upgrade the training of skilled workers in the country.
Data from PHIL-Jobnet, the Bureau of Local Employment's automated job and applicant matching system, showed that firms offer at least ₱8,000 to ₱10,000 per month for local employment of construction workers.
According to WorkAbroad.ph, jobs in the construction sector such as welders, plumbers, machine operators and electricians are in-demand in New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East. Salaries there are also way higher.
In Japan, for instance, the average base salary for construction workers reaches at least ₱163,000 per month.