By Argyll Geducos
SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan—President Duterte admitted that his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program is a bit behind schedule because the country lacks skilled workers to work on the infrastructure projects.
Duterte made the statement during the proclamation and kick-off rally of PDP-Laban’s senatorial slate here Thursday evening.
In his speech, Duterte said that his ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program is getting a bit delayed because the country’s skilled workers are already overseas.
“Alam mo dito sa Pilipinas ngayon maraming trabaho. Ang construction humihinto kaso walang trabahante. Sino yan? Master electrician, master carpenter, master planner. Papag-aralan mo yan. Ang karamihan ng may alam niyan wala na sa Pilipinas at nandoon na sa Middle East (You know there are a lot of jobs here in the country. Construction jobs are put on hold because we lack laborers. Who are these? Skilled workers like master electrician, master carpenter, and master planner. You need to study for that and those who are learned are already in the Middle East),” he said.
“Kaya ‘yang ‘Build, Build, Build’ medyo atrasado nang konti, walang trabahante. Marami tayong Pilipino, kung hindi naman tayo magtulungan, eh ‘di wala (That’s why the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is a bit behind schedule. There are a lot of us but if we don’t help each other, then nothing will happen),” he added.
He then suggested that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to study under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“Doon (TESDA) kayo mag-aral, bayaran ko kayo hanggang maka-graduate kayo. All you have to do is to drop your weapon. Wala na akong tanong kung sino pinatay mo. Wala akong magtanong na anong barangay pinuntahan mo (Get trained in TESDA and I will pay you until you graduate. All you have to do is to drop your weapon. I will not even ask you if you’ve killed a person or which barangay you went to),” he said.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lack of skilled Filipino workers in the country may also be a reason why there are many Chinese workers in the Philippines.
“We lack so many construction workers. Siguro (Maybe) that’s why maraming Chinese na kinukuha dahil walang mga Pilipino (a lot of Chinese are being hired because of the lack of Filipinos),” he said last month.