Importance of investment in education, healthcare to ensure sustainable economic growth cited

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, March 18 (PNA) — As young and quality workforce is an asset for the country to attract foreign investments, the government will continue to spend in education and health sectors to sustain the Philippines’ high economic growth.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo said during the Philippine Economic Briefing Tuesday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) that sustainable and inclusive growth can be achieved through providing quality education and health services to the people.

”When we talk about inclusive growth and sustained economic growth, there is really no substitute for an educated, healthy population,” Domingo stressed.

He said that since the current administration came into office in 2010, education and health budget grew by around 60 percent.

He mentioned that the impact of government’s increasing investments in education and health services will be seen as the country will be producing educated and healthy pool of talents in the upcoming years.

Government funds directed to education and health services will benefit particularly the median age or ages 23 and below which comprise more than half of the country’s population.

Hence, investing in this population group will assure the country of quality supply of workforce within the next decades.

Domingo said that the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world that have median-age population, which is attractive for investors. He noted that many countries now have ageing population.

“This will give us several decades of assured growth and basic necessity for sustained economic growth. Now it is up for the Philippines to take advantage of the talents being produced to sustain economic growth,” the trade chief stressed.

In the same forum, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Rolando Gosiengfiao mentioned that education is now considered as a strong local industry wherein even the private sector is investing in.

”If you’ll look today, secondary cities where the growth is coming from; you will see that these growth cities, like Dumaguete, Baguio, Dagupan, Naga, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro, are focused in education. It’s not really that much on industry, tourism, and so on,” he said.

He added that further investments in education will strengthen and support the country’s economic growth as foreign countries consider venturing in the Philippines because of its competitive labor force. (PNA)