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ADB, Philippines to Improve Investment Climate and Boost Youth Employment
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors today approved a $350-million Increasing Competitiveness for Inclusive Growth Program loan to help the Philippines improve its business climate through a mix of policy reforms and programs to promote competitiveness and develop 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.
To help young people better integrate into the labor market and develop workplace skills, ADB is working closely with the Department of Labor and Employment to design a youth job search program, called MyFirstJob, which will be piloted in 2013. The initial pilot will provide up to 1,600 youth with career counseling services, grants for vocational training, and internships with employers.
MyFirstJob is one of several initiatives that will be used to make the labor market more inclusive. Others include the 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.
Through the program loan, a competition policy and best practice regulation will also be developed, and the policy framework for public-private partnerships in the Philippines will be strengthened.
The program has been jointly formulated by the Philippine government, ADB, and the Government of Japan, which is expected to provide cofinancing of $100 million through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.