Aside from its consistent economic growth, another factor being touted
as the Philippines’ unique selling proposition for investors is the country’s
young and sophisticated, English-speaking workforce, said former lawmaker
Charito B. Plaza, who now heads Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
For one, Plaza said the Filipino workforce has a high literacy rate of 94.6
percent. “Filipinos are easy to train, hardworking and very friendly,” she said.
In the UAE, most employers prefer Filipinos for the same reasons.
Plaza, citing recent studies, said Filipinos in the IT sector “are considered global
knowledge workers because they are intelligent and able to compete at the
highest levels among the best in the world.”
The PEZA chief said one million Filipinos reach working age every year with
half of them college graduates.
Plaza said the Philippines scored 17.3 percent in a 2014 survey of Japanese-
affiliated companies in Asia and Oceania in terms of quality of workers – the
highest, followed by Vietnam at 14.1 percent and Thailand at 6.2 percent;
Indonesia scored lowest at 4.9 percent.
In terms of high employee retention rates, Philippines also scored highest in the
survey at 13.7 percent, followed again by Vietnam at 9.8 percent, with Malaysia
this time scoring lowest at 3.9 percent.
Meantime, the same survey showed the Philippines running away by a huge
margin at 37.4 percent in tax holidays followed by Thailand at 13.7 percent,
Malaysia, 13.4 percent and Vietnam, 12.1 percent. Indonesia scored lowest at 4
Plaza recently led a team of PEZA officials in a trade mission to Dubai where
she presented investment opportunities as well as the advantages of opening
businesses in the Philippines.
She cited the Philippines’ foreign investor-friendly policies where companies
can remit profits, repatriate obligations and have a 100-percent ownership as
plus factors complimenting the country’s competent workforce.