Eastern Visayas stakeholders from various sectors, during a forum conducted on Linking Education and Economic Development, agreed that the establishment of the Leyte Industrial Economic Zone (LEIZ) will enhance and institutionalize the government-industry-education (GIE) collaboration in the region. The strong GIE collaboration in the region will result in promising employment and business opportunities, and economic growth in the region.

“In the province of Bohol, this collaboration helped in the training of senior high school students by aligning the skills offered by schools to what is required by industry, and facilitated their transition to employment in the province’s top industries in tourism and agriculture,” said Kim Garcia of the The Asia Foundation (TAF) during the forum.

The Masterplan of the LEIZ is expected to be completed in 2019. It will lay down the details on developing, promoting and optimizing the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE) and the nearby towns, and benefiting the manufacturing sector of Eastern Visayas.

The Action for Economic Reforms Industrial Policy (AER IP) Team, in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) VIII, Visayas State University (VSU), and The Asia Foundation-Coalitions for Change held the Consultative Meeting on Linking Education and Economic Development at the Felipina Hall, NEDA VIII, Palo, Leyte on 23 March 2018.

The forum primarily discussed issues on the challenge of employment in the growing economy, the state of industry, and recent development in the K-12 program, and the Philippine Qualifications Framework. It was participated in by various regional government agencies, local government units, representatives from the private sector and academe, and representatives from the civil society.

Dr. Joseph Anthony Lim of the AER IP Team also presented the preliminary findings of his paper on The Challenge of Employment in a Growing Economy: Linking Education and Economic Development. Based on the preliminary results on the state of employment in the country, people are mostly employed in the services sector and followed by the agriculture and industry. Results also show that the youths entering into employment now will still end up the same sector after several years of employment. The paper further showed that the unemployed are mostly young and males. The paper seeks to show the link of education and economic and industrial policy in addressing employment and economic sector growth.

Article by Maria Veda Eslopor, DRD, NEDA; Photo by Nadine Agustin