09/27/2023, 18.00
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President Marcos approves new employment plan for Filipinos

by Stefano Vecchia

The new law is a milestone to counter economic migration from the Philippines. About 5.87 million Filipinos are unemployed, official figures show. The plan includes coordination with small and medium-sized businesses to improve workers' skills.


Manila (AsiaNews) – A new law came into effect today in the Philippines designed to boost employment in a country where unemployment and underemployment are very high and where many people are denied the opportunity to fully apply their knowledge and skills.

The Trabaho para sa Bayan (Work for the People) Act is a "significant milestone toward [the] sustainable and inclusive development of the country," President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said. It “will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labour sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, underemployment, among others”.

In June, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that unemployment rose to 4.5 per cent to a total of 2.3 million, with 5.87 million Filipinos underemployed.

In addition, millions of Filipinos abroad have been driven abroad. Providing adequate and remunerative employment at home to limit economic migration has been a long-standing goal for Marcos.

The law also aims to increase the competitiveness of Philippine workers by giving them the opportunity to improve and upgrade their skills while helping small and medium-sized businesses, this according to Arsenio Balisacan, head of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“With the passage of the TBP, this will facilitate stronger coordination and partnership among relevant agencies and stakeholders for the efficient implementation of employment programs,” Balisacan explained.

NEDA’s chief will coordinate the redesigning of the employment system as chairman of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Inter-Agency Council, with the secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment acting as co-chairs.

The council’s first step will be complete a comprehensive analysis of the country’s employment landscape and labour market to develop a master plan to boost job offers over three distinct time frames: three, six and ten years.

Given this timeline, the council will secure the necessary funds for the plan and help local governments in planning and implementing programmes for job creation and better employment.

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