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PIA Press Release

Filipinos are IT experts, says Japan official

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (21 September) -- Filipinos are now seen as information technology experts as bared by Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry official Toru Nakayama during his latest visit in this city.

Seeing the products and the services delivered by Filipino workers in the IT field, the Japan government is now expanding the opportunity for Filipino experts to upgrade and accredit in order to join the labor force of Japan.

With two branches of the Philippine National IT Standards Foundation in Manila and Cebu, it was noted that the number of exam takers are still very minimal and that plenty of IT graduates and professionals are still unaware of the said certification program as their ticket to work in Japan.

In the five years of implementing the program, there were only 3,308 IT engineers who took the exam, far from the target of attracting 10,000 examinees as the potential number to be absorbed by Japanese companies.

However, the lack of examinees has further pushed the PhilNITS, the METI, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to open the third PhilNITS branch which is in Davao City to encourage and welcome IT experts from Mindanao to take the certification program.

Nakayama said that Filipino workers do have the edge over the other Asian workers brought by their English proficiency and the number of training programs offered by the Japanese government through the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS).

Moreover, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently congratulated the IT industry for accounting two-thirds of the country's exports.

With the good number IT experts in the Philippines, the country gets to supply 50 percent of the world's requirements for hard disk drives produced by the global suppliers like Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Hitachi.

She also cited that hundred percent of the Nokia digital signal processors and about 80 percent of global brands Siemens and Erricson are manufactured by the Texas Instruments which holds factories in some parts of the Philippines employing hundreds of Filipino experts.

Arroyo also reported that more international investors have already opened factories in the country like Korea's Hanjin which built a billion-dollar ship in Subic. The Marubeni and Tokyo Electric Power also bought power plants last year that amounted to $3.5 billion. Also, the AES of United States got the bid for the Calaca Power Plant at $930 million. (PIA XI) [top]

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