TVET Forum

Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Luwalhati Antonino (right) receives a plaque of recognition from Tesda-Davao director Gaspar Gayona during the 1st BIMP-EAGA TVET Forum, held at the Regional Training Center-Korea-Philippines Vocational Training Center in Davao City.

DAVAO CITY – More than 100 participants from the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) convened here Monday for a forum aimed to develop a more globally competitive workforce for the sub-region.

Dubbed as the 1st BIMP-EAGA Technical, Vocational, Education, and Training (TVET) Forum, the international event gathered a pool of experts from the human resource industry and key government officials as they mapped out possible strategies designed to further strengthen technical knowledge and skills training among the sub-region's workers.

Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, said the event is crucial in elevating the level of human resource development currently existing in the BIMP-EAGA, especially with respect to the increasing demand for more skilled workers that can compete in a global scale.

"With the enabling policies in place within BIMP-EAGA and the ASEAN, such as the Mutual Recognition Arrangements for the services sector, this forum will provide us with the venue for the discussion of strategies in producing more internationally accredited workforce who will form part as the backbone of the sub-region's skilled human resource," Antonino said.

The conduct of the forum was finalized during the BIMP-EAGA Strategic Planning Meeting in February this year, through EAGA's Socio-Cultural and Education (SCE) pillar.

Formally established in 2014, the SCE was pushed by the Philippines to specifically promote a "people-centered" regional cooperation within BIMP-EAGA through opportunities that can enhance the innate skills of the working force.

Aside from convening experts across BIMP-EAGA, the forum is also aimed to facilitate the adoption of "incubation centers of best practices" for specific industries that a member country espouses as "information hubs" that can be easily accessed by everyone. The Philippines has been identified as an incubation center for agri-based industries.

Antonino said the event is a great way to strengthen partnerships among BIMP-EAGA member countries, particularly in generating employment opportunities.

"This is also a good avenue for us to align our initiatives with the overall goals of BIMP-EAGA as a sub-economic cooperation. While accelerated trade among member countries is still the primary vision of BIMP-EAGA, partnerships in jobs creation can also flourish within the sub-region through this initiative," she added.

The 1st BIMP-EAGA TVET Forum will run from July 18 to 19, 2016 at the Regional Training Center, Korea-Philippines Vocational Training Center (RTC-KPVTC), Tibungco here in this city.

Launched in 1994, the BIMP-EAGA sub-regional cooperation is designed as a key strategy to accelerate social and economic development of less developed areas in participating countries.

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