President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has expressed his plans for the government to offer a scholarship program for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, citing the need for manpower in the field of information and communications technology.

In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the president said a scholarship program could encourage more students to pursue STEM courses.

According to a Palace release, Marcos Jr. ordered Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy to coordinate with industry players to determine their specific needs as he reiterated the country’s need to address its jobs mismatch problem.

Uy said many IT graduates in the Philippines were lacking “the right tools and training required by the ICT industry.”

He also noted a decrease in the number of students enrolling in STEM programs.

Marcos said he wanted the country to catch up in STEM fields and expressed his commitment to fixing the gap in research and development.

Marcos Jr. has been vocal about his plans to fix the country’s education curriculum to improve the quality of its graduates. John Ezekiel J. Hirro