$5-B worth of e-trikes top list of Singapore investments to PH

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Photo from Office of the President Facebook page)

MANILA – The Philippines is poised to reap USD6.54 billion (PHP374.57) of investment deals from the two-day state visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to Singapore.

Marcos’ Singapore trip resulted in the signing of several letters of intent to invest in the Philippines during the Singapore business roundtable meeting on Wednesday.

These letters of intent are expected to generate an estimated 15,000 jobs for Filipinos, according to a news release from Malacañang.

Topping the list of Singaporean investments in the Philippines are electronic tricycles valued at USD5 billion.

“This investment in the transportation sector is seen to lessen air pollution emitted by an estimated 3.5 million tricycles nationwide,” the Palace said but gave no further details.

Coming second is an investment in renewable energy, specifically the new technology of floating solar valued at USD1.2 billion.

“You will notice that the top two investments of Singapore to the Philippines are both environment-friendly and are aligned with the government’s program on climate change,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles was quoted saying.

The third top Singaporean investment is the setting up of in-country Data Center valued at USD200 million, which is expected to employ Filipinos, especially in the Information Technology (IT) and creative industry.

Singaporean businessmen also expressed interest in the so-called “Blue Economy” where they are expected to invest from USD10 million to USD100 million in areas such as marine renewable energy, water production, desalination, electric boats as well as aquaculture.

There were also investments pledged in “Innovation Platform for Start-ups” (USD20 million) and “Women in Technology” (USD20 million).

Hiring of workers

The Singapore government also approved the hiring of around 10,000 Filipino workers in the city-state, which is home to around 200,000 Filipino migrant workers.

Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said this developed following her meeting with Manpower Minister Tan See Leng.

Ople also said that the goodwill arising from the President’s state visit and the lifting of the 27-year-old guarantee bond would lead to more and better job prospects for Filipinos who wish to work in Singapore.

“Even prior to the President’s visit, our Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Singapore had already approved close to 10,000 job orders with 5,000 jobs awaiting aircraft technicians in the aviation industry,” Ople was quoted saying.

Approved job orders refer to immediate manpower requirements given by Singaporean employers to the POLO that are expected to be filled up in the next few months.

The breakdown of approved job orders submitted by Singaporean employers are as follows: Aviation industry — 5,000 aircraft technicians; Medical industry – 3,000 healthcare workers; Engineering industry – 1,000 skilled workers; Education industry – 500 workers; I.T. sector – 300 workers.

Ople said she anticipated a surge in demand for OFWs in Singapore with the success of the President’s visit and the reforms in promoting ease of doing business strategies such as digitalization of various recruitment processes.

In a speech during Philippine Economic Briefing at the Shangri-La Hotel, Marcos invited foreign businesses to put their investments in the Philippines, describing the country as “Asia’s fastest rising star.”

He encouraged businesses to seize the opportunities in the country as he invited strategic investors from the international community to take part in the Philippines’ “economic resurgence.”

“We are presently on a steady path to a strong recovery from the pandemic and a robust economic expansion. In the next few years, our economy is expected to outperform our regional peers. My administration is committed to establishing an even more competitive business climate conducive to high-value investments,” he said. (PNA)