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Senate bill seeks to create long-term employment generation masterplan

A measure seeking to create a long-term master plan for employment generation and recovery in the country is now up for Senate plenary deliberations.

This, after Senate Bill 2035 or the proposed Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act has been reported out by Senate committees on economic affairs, civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation, and finance.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the measure, said SB 2035 aims to promote job-led economic growth and enhanced industry collaboration, and to provide overall services for worker development and support and incentives to businesses.

The proposed masterplan will include a three-year, six-year, and ten-year development timeline for its vision, mission, and goals.

It will be formulated by an Inter-Agency Council headed by the National Economic and Development Authority, as the chairperson, with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment as co-chairpersons.

Under the measure, the council is tasked to come up with measures for the following:

  • Support for the establishment, continuity, and growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) including start-ups
  • Skilling, upskilling, reskilling of the workforce
  • Encouraging and providing incentives to employers and other private organizations that offer training, technology, knowledge and skills transfer, upskill and reskilling, apprenticeship, work immersion, and on-the-job training and similar activities geared towards the improvement of the workforce
  • Empowering the workforce on their rights and obligations under the Labor Code of the Philippines and other rules and regulations
  • Identifying priority sectors, key and emerging industries, and other activities with high employment potential
  • Expanding the implementation of active labor market policies, information and programs, including employment facilitation and reintegration support for overseas Filipino workers, and utilizing means to improve accessibility and efficiency in delivering such services
  • Enhancing tripartism and social dialogue among workers, employers and the government and increasing the participation and representation of marginalized and vulnerable sectors in various labor issues and concerns
  • Addressing youth unemployment by identifying challenges in the school-to-work transition of new entrant in the labor market
  • Provide support and promote the welfare of all workers in new forms of work arrangements such as freelance work, whether in-person or through online platforms or gig economy
  • Formulating integrated plans and incentives to encourage and facilitate the transition of workers and enterprises from the informal to the formal economy
  • Promoting the adoption of ethical and fair recruitment standards and practices to protect the rights of migrant workers, promote decent work, and enhance the global competitiveness of Filipino workers
  • Full-cycle reintegration of Overseas Filipino Workers

According to Villanueva, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. personally asked him to shepherd the passage of the measure.

Preliminary results of the January 2023 Labor Force Survey revealed that there were 2.237 million unemployed adults, or those aged 15 years old and above.

This brought the unemployment rate to stand at 4.8%, up from 4.3% in December 2022.

This is also the highest joblessness rate since September 2022’s 5%.  —Hana Bordey/KBK, GMA Integrated News