ADB oks $12.7-M tourism grants for PH
MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved more than $12.7 million of grant financing to the Philippines help create more quality jobs through the tourism sector.
In a statement on Thursday, March 7, the ADB said the grant will be included in two technical assistance (TA) grants that will fund a pilot youth job placement program and improve skills in the tourism sector. The funding for the TAs came from the Canadian government.
"With the recent upsurge in the Philippine economy, this support will help match job-seekers’ skills with emerging industries to promote growth and ensure that the benefits are more inclusive and reach even more people," ADB Philippines Country Director Neeraj Jain said.
The ADB said one technical assistance program worth $7 million will be given to the Department of Tourism (DOT). The project aims to will help pilot projects in select provinces in reducing tourism-related costs.
These pilot projects will be conducted in Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Palawan. The project also aims to improve hotel accreditation systems and provide funding for skills development in the industry.
Another technical assistance, worth $5.5 million, will be extended to the Department of Labor and Employment. It will help connect vulnerable out-of-work youth to jobs through a program called MyFirstJob.
The pilot program that will provide high school leavers with career counseling, funding for vocational training, and work place experience. At least 1,600 youth – half of them women – are expected to participate in the pilot project.
"The two TAs support implementation of reforms under the Increasing Competitiveness for Inclusive Growth program approved by the ADB Board of Directors in June 2012. The program aims to improve competitiveness of the Philippines economy and increase youth wage employment rates to 5% by 2019, up from a baseline of 3.4%," ADB said.
The Philippines economy grew 6.6% in 2012, lifted by robust consumption and investments, and was considered one of the strongest economic performances in the region. However, job creation has not kept pace and even the government has admitted that it is the single biggest challenge of the Aquino administration.
The Philippines is a founding member of the ADB and its 11th largest shareholder. The country is also the 5th largest borrower, accounting for about 8% of total sovereign and nonsovereign lending. - Rappler.com