August 24, 2022
MANILA - The Philippines is expected to open its first artificial intelligence research hub in September, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said Monday.
The Philippines Center for AI Research (CAIR) will be inaugurated on September 9, Pascual said at the 7th Joint Economic Briefing of the joint chambers of commerce.
“This center promotes the adoption of AI, which can enable the country to achieve regional and global competitiveness in its industries, prepare future workforce for jobs of the future, and attract AI research and development efforts of multinationals and big tech companies,” Pascual said.
CAIR is a private-public partnership which will serve as a hub for researchers and data scientists to perform collaborative artificial intelligence research and development and consulting services, as well as create AI tech products and conduct data literacy programs.
The DTI expects CAIR to focus on AI research for precision farming, smart manufacturing, healthcare services, and AI-powered business process outsourcing, and smart cities.
DTI plans to transform the Philippine industry towards an increasing share of science, technology, and innovation sectors to GDP.
“We plan to leapfrog into new and emerging industries that will modernize our manufacturing base; manufacturing is the country’s guarantee of sustainable and inclusive growth because it provides more stable and higher-paying jobs,” Pascual said.
This means shifting to high value-added activities, Pascual added, underlining the Marcos administration’s plans to invest in manufacturing value-added green metals instead of exporting the country’s supply of nickel, cobalt, and copper as ores.
DTI targets prioritizing three industry clusters reconfigured from the country’s export sectors: the industrial, manufacturing, and transportation (IMT) cluster, the technology, media, and telecommunication (TMT) cluster, and the health and life science (HLF) cluster.
Pascual also said that the DTI is looking at further regional development, seeing Clark International Airport as a potential area for aerospace development, Bulacan to Clark for the HLF cluster, Cebu for creative industries, Iloilo for health information management, and Davao, CDO, and Zamboanga for large scale food production.
“There will be efforts to direct education of the youth towards the skills that we need for the future of the country. DTI is preparing the Philippine skills framework for various industries that will define the skills needed to support the [clusters],” Pascual said.
“We need to strengthen K12 to be readily employable. Digital skills can be taught in senior high school. And I am going to propose that we propose the micro-credentialing system of giving packaged instructions in short periods of time to prepare for definite skills,” he added.
The DPWH plans for infrastructure will also help achieve better logistics and mobility for service and product sectors, while private companies efforts such as PLDT’s Jupiter cable system “will really provide added internet and broadband capacity.”
“All these things are happening and hopefully that will provide the attraction to foreign investors,” Pascual said.
Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko of the Revenue Operations Group and Corporate Affaris Group also attended the briefing, while Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla delivered a video message at the event held to provide latest news on the Philippine macroeconomic outlook.
The 7th joint economic briefing of the chambers of commerce briefing was organized by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (DCCP), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines (CCI France Philippines), the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (NordCham Philippines), and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (La Camara).