Press Release
November 16, 2007

Press Statement of Senator Edgardo J. Angara on congressional
competitive commission

A congressional competitiveness commission is helping recast Philippine education to train a vast pool of world-class scientists, engineers and technological innovators who shall anchor wealth-creation and job generation in the country at unprecedented speed and breathtaking levels , Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said.

Speaking at the People's Competitive Summit 2007, Angara said these cadres of Filipino scientists, engineers and technological innovators are also expected to participate actively in a dynamic global economy spearheaded not by the traditional movers and the old economy but by creative people and technological innovators.

Angara said that the emerging global society that is defined by knowledge and talent requires the recasting of our educational system and the reevaluation of our investment priorities for the education sector.

Under this, the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering Research and Development (COMSTE) of which Angara is the prime mover, will push the educational system to make " the wealth-generating fields of science, technology and engineering our national priority," he said.

Angara told the Summit that the COMSTE has identified the reform areas for education and training and the roadmap and work plan will focus on the three areas :

1. Electronics, information technology and telecoms 2. Agri-food 3. Health

The business process outsourcing sector alone generated US$2.1 billion in offshore revenues in 2005,said Angara , and expected revenue this year has been placed at US$4.9 billion.

Within the next three years, the sector is expected to create anywhere from 600,000 to 1.5 million new jobs, he added, possibly more if training and education can be stepped up to meet the huge demand. The current employment in the sector is 235,000 .

"The BPO sector alone has cracked the problem of global migration for jobs," said Angara .

Angara said that the Philippines can be a global leader in software design, content delivery and other software-backed, low-end technologies .

Angara said that the global market for processed food is US$3.2 trillion a year and those trained in food technologies and the like be able to corner a big share of this giant market.

"Our educational system should train food engineers, chemists, microbiologists and those skilled in creating new food lines," said Angara .

In the field of medical tourism, the Philippines has the potential of earning US$300 million a year, said Angara .

What is required is step up the training of medical practitioners and health care workers to meet global standards, he added.

The market for medical tourism is US$2 billion a year within the next five years and the Philippines can grab, with a trained staff and the infrastructure , a sizable share of the total market, according to Angara .

"Knowledge and innovation are the world's heartbeat. The Philippines , through better education, should move to this rhythm ," he said.

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