Wednesday, February 21, 2024

DTI Eyes 128K Engineers As Philippines Chosen For US CHIPS Act Aid

DTI Eyes 128K Engineers As Philippines Chosen For US CHIPS Act Aid

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing to produce 128,000 engineers for the semiconductor industry as the Philippines and the United States partnered to develop the domestic sector.

In a statement Tuesday, the DTI said the country aims to achieve this target by 2028.

This initiative is on the back of the decision of the US government to pick the Philippines as one of its seven country partners which will receive aid from the US under the CHIPS and Science Act.

DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo and US Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez met last week during the latter’s visit to the Philippines to forge collaboration in strategic industries, particularly semiconductors, critical minerals, and renewable energy.

Fernandez announced in a press briefing here last week that the Philippines is one of the countries that the US chose to benefit from USD500 million under the International Technology, Security, and Innovation (ITSI) Fund over a five-year period.

These funding will support the development of the local semiconductor industry through technical assistance and improving the local talents of the sector, he said.

Fernandez added this support will help the Philippine semiconductor industry “galvanize private investments and workforce development.”

“We welcome this strategic collaboration with the United States in semiconductors and critical minerals. This partnership not only reinforces the Philippines’ position as a key player in the global economy but also opens avenues for mutual growth and innovation. Together, we are charting a course toward sustainable development and economic resilience,” Rodolfo said.

Rodolfo said that aside from producing 128,000 semiconductor-related engineers, the DTI also aims to establish a lab-scale wafer fabrication plant.

“Utilizing a more generic technology for commercial and educational purposes, the wafer fab lab aims to train and upskill the workforce, while enabling the local industry to do prototyping and some tape outs of semiconductor chip designs in the country instead of bringing them all the way to Taiwan,” the agency said.

The CHIPS Act supports the diversification of the supply chain of US companies in countries with rich natural resources and that have a strong relation with the US government. (PNA)