Returning OFWs urged to invest back home
21 Oct 2017 - 2:33
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
Around 2.5m jobs will be generated in the construction sector in the Philippines under the “Build, Build, Build”, the Philippine government’s ambitious 9 trillion-peso nationwide infrastructure programme, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ruth Castelo has said.
Castelo, who chairs the Construction, Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group at the DTI, was in Qatar to speak at the Philippine Trade and Tourism Conference – Qatar (PTTC-Q) yesterday at Shangri-La Hotel Doha in which she discussed the various business and job opportunities back home for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as the vast prospects of further infrastructure projects available for foreign investment.
She urged returning OFWs to take part in the development of the country as it ushers in a ‘golden age of infrastructure’ for the massive programme which aims at building more railways, urban mass transport, airports, seaports, bridges and roads as well as developing new and better cities.
“We have a lot of jobs in the country right now. My goal here is to invite construction professionals to come home. When the programme rolls out towards the end of this year, we will need them. For the construction industry alone we need 2.5m workers-both skilled and professional,” she told local media on the sidelines of the conference.
She also expressed keenness to promote Philippine construction industry in Qatar with the many projects in the run-up to World Cup 2022. Currently, Filipino construction company Sta. Clara International Corporation is present in Qatar and there are many more big construction companies that can do projects here, she said.
With regard to Qatar’s food security programme, Castelo said the Philippines is willing to increase its export of foodstuff here as the Philippines’ food manufacturing and production sector has many products to offer.
Castelo was one of the luminaries in the government and business sector from the Philippines who spoke at yesterday’s conference which featured investment opportunities in properties, agri-business, eco-tourism, stocks and bonds, among others.
Other prominent speakers were Philippine Agri-business TV sensation BV Boer Farms CEO Dexter Villamin who highlighted his advocacy of providing contemporary farming investment potentials to OFWs and celebrity Entrepreneur Isabel Granada, Marketing Director of Star Net who provided an overview of the start-up networking opportunities that they have on offer to the Filipino expat community. A well-known singer actress in the Philippines, Granada also performed at the event along with Filipino organizations.
Organised by the Association of Filipino Real Estate Executives in Qatar (Afreeq) in partnership with LiQha Trading & Creative Works, the conference was the expanded version of the Philippine Property & Investment Show Qatar and also featured a food and trade fair.