News / Asia

Philippine President Answers Questions from Public on YouTube

Simone Orendain

Philippine President Benigno Aquino talked jobs, national defense and curbing corruption during a 45-minute online program Friday where he answered questions submitted by the public. He was the first Asian leader to appear on YouTube’s World View.

Aquino on Youtube

With little preamble, World View's host got to the first of a series of questions decided upon by YouTube viewers.  One person asked what the president is doing to keep workers at home.  Currently 3,000 Filipinos leave daily to work abroad.

President Benigno Aquino said his administration is focused on attracting foreign and local investment and revamping school curricula to match the tens of thousands of local jobs that are not being filled.

“The system is such that they keep on going after jobs that are currently hot that are non-existent by the time they graduate so we want to end that mismatch between skills and job opportunities,” he responded.

The mismatch between schooling and job opportunities has been a problem in the Philippines in recent years.  A 2009 labor department study found skilled workers are needed in the mining, outsourcing and agriculture sectors. However many schools emphasize degrees in business administration, hotel and restaurant management, leaving students less prepared for available jobs when they graduate.

Ben, a student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, asked about national defense priorities.

“Which should you prioritize for defense, Mindanao or the Spratlys Islands?  If that is too specific for you Mr. President, what can you say about the overall defense of this country?” he asked.

President Aquino said the way to strengthen the military and law enforcement was first to give their workers financial support with deeply discounted housing.  Government is dispensing small units to officers that they can own for less than 10 percent of what they pay in monthly rent.

“We expect them to hold the utmost in terms of professionalism, at the same time they barely make ends meet,” he said.

The president also said funds are being put towards buying badly needed defense assets such as weapons and patrol craft for the Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.

As for solving the Muslim and Communist rebellions, Aquino says “the first freedom -freedom from hunger” is the priority.  He also said the way to eliminate the problem of having the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s rebellion is to address the lack of basic services, such as infrastructure and schools, where a majority of the country’s Muslims are based.

Google, which produces World View, approached Aquino to be the show’s first Asian-leader guest.  Google Asia’s public policy country lead Deborah Nga says organizers liked that he was willing to be grilled by the public.

“Also because of him and his administration’s commitment to democracy and free speech and his administration is also a very avid user of social media,” Nga explained.

She says the group took notice when the president’s office recently launched two new YouTube channels.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs