Thursday, February 29, 2024

US picks PH as one of partner countries under CHIPS Act

The Philippines is one of the seven countries that the US will be partnering with to diversify its semiconductor supply chain under the CHIPS and Science Act, according to visiting US undersecretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment Jose Fernandez.

Fernandez told reporters Tuesday, Jan. 30, that the Philippines, along with Vietnam, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Mexico will receive funding from the US government to make the ecosystem of their local semiconductor industry more conducive to US investors.

“We’ve picked seven countries, only seven countries to work with. And we pick those countries on the basis of their potential to support semiconductors, supply chains back home,” Fernandez said.

He said the US government has earmarked $500 million for the International Technology, Security, and Innovation (ITSI) Fund to be spent over the next five years in the partner countries.

“The ITSI Fund, it serves to galvanize private investments and workforce development, which at the end of the day will lead our efforts to expand the semiconductor sector,” the US official added.

Fernandez said the US will soon receive recommendations from Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on how the US can help in strengthening the semiconductor sector in the Philippines.

Electronics and semiconductor products are the Philippines’ top merchandise export, sharing more than half of the country’s total export revenues.

The industry generated up to 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs.

Fernandez noted that 60 percent of the total investments in the semiconductor sector here came from US companies.

Signed by US president Joe Biden on Aug. 9, 2022, the “CHIPS and Science Act” authorizes investments in exploratory and translational research that will advance the most innovative ideas across all areas of science and engineering. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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