Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao on Friday pledged to mobilize his constituents to work in the $3.5 billion integrated steel plant Chinese investors intend to build on a 305-hectare section of the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate of the Misamis Oriental Special Economic Zone.
Siao said Iligan “will be at the forefront of the Philippine side of this major investment of the Panhua Group Co. Ltd. which is estimated to generate 50,000 new jobs.”
Skilled and technical manpower will be provided to the steel plant.
“Over the coming weeks and months, I will meet officials of the Commission on Higher Education, the Mindanao State University, the Department of Education and the schools and technical training institutes in Iligan to firm up their action plans on how to supply those 50,000 workers properly prepared for steel industry work,” Siao, a member of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, said.
The congressman also said Iligan City’s education sector can also supply the manpower needs of other steel plants operating in the Visayas and of other parts of Mindanao.
“The rebuilding of Marawi City and the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration need lots of steel and thousands of workers. That is a huge economic opportunity Iligan City will take full advantage of given its strategic location in Mindanao,” he said.
The congressman made the pledge following the meeting of a congressional delegation led by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
The memorandum of understanding involving the Panhua steel plant was signed during the visit of Xi on Monday.
In a news release, the Department of Trade and Industry said its secretary, Ramon Lopez “led the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Panhua Chairman Xinghua Li, PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority CEO and Administrator Atty. Franklin Quijano and Philippine Economic Zone Authority Deputy Director General Tereso O. Panga on 20 November.”