Philippines, Australia partner to build up human resource industry for 2015 ASEAN integration

Australia and the Philippines are strengthening their partnership to build up the Philippines’ human resource industry as the country gets ready for 2015 ASEAN economic integration.

Over a thousand Filipino public and private human resource (HR) experts gathered together in Cebu City for the HR Symposium 2014 with the theme “Gearing Towards ASEAN Integration through Strategic HR.” The event was a joint undertaking of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Australian Government through the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF).

CSC Chair Duque
CSC Chairman Francisco Duque, Australian Embassy Head of Mission David Dutton, and Australian Embassy Counselor Geoff King with CSC Regional Directors

The Symposium highlighted the importance of strategic human resource development in the upcoming economic integration of ASEAN member states, including the Philippines.  Human resource practitioners from the government and private sector shared information, solutions and best practices to help the Philippines move towards the 2015 ASEAN integration.

“Economic advancement relies on human resources. Unless people have equal access to education, training and capacity building, the Philippines may be deprived of a large pool of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. The Civil Service Commission’s task as the central human resource institution of the Philippine bureaucracy is to ensure that the government’s human resource is set to achieve the development and societal goals of the country,” said Chairman Francisco Duque III, MD, MSc, Chairman, CSC.

Capacity building is one of the areas of cooperation identified in the 2015 ASEAN integration, which means investing in human resources and developing the right competencies that will enable the Philippines to meet the challenges of integration.

The Australian Government remains a committed partner of the Philippine Government in building stronger public institutions.  Australia’s flagship human resource management program, the Php1.2 billion (A$31.5 million) PAHRODF, has been partnering with Philippine Government agencies to improve their processes, structures, skills set, and behaviour to enable positive change and continuous improvement.  It draws on experts from private organisations, and links them with government agencies so they can work together towards building a stronger industry in the country.  Australia also sends up to 120 Filipinos annually on post-graduate degree programs to Australian academic institutions through the Australia Awards Scholarships.  The scholarship encourages the best and brightest Filipinos from public and private organisations to enhance skills in human resource development and other disciplines.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said, “Australia is a long-time supporter of ASEAN’s efforts to achieve regional economic integration. In fact, Australia became the first Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1974.  This partnership has developed over the years and has deepened relations in all fields, including political, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation. Needless to say, a highly skilled and competent workforce is crucial in realizing the initiatives for ASEAN connectivity.”

Head of Mission David Dutton
Australian Embassy Manila Deputy Head of Mission David Dutton delivering his key message at the HR Symposium 2014

“The Australian Government is honoured to be a partner of the Philippines, particularly the CSC.  We hope that Australia’s assistance through PAHRODF is helping promote functioning, responsive and capable civil service ready to take on the challenges of the ASEAN integration.”

Australian Embassy Manila Deputy Head of Mission David Dutton gave a message during the HR Symposium in Cebu City, along with international human resource experts including Mr. Ong Teong Wan of the ManagementWise (International) Pte Ltd in Singapore, Prof. Dr. Endang Wirjatmi Trilestari, M. Si of the National Institute of Public Administration Republic of Indonesia, and Ms. Ann Rolfe of Mentoring Works in Australia.

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