The government is forming another task force, this time to boost efforts in creating more jobs and attracting investments after the coronavirus pandemic left many people unemployed.
According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the new inter-agency task force will implement the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) to address access to jobs and livelihood programs, facilitate retraining of workers to cope with the present needs, among others. An executive order institutionalizing the NERS Task Force is already being drafted.
“Like the rest of the world, the country’s employment was hit hard by the pandemic. Unemployment peaked last April at 17.6 percent or 7.2 million,” Nograles said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, Feb. 23.
“While we were able to half that to 8.7 percent by October 2020, we recognize that a coherent national strategy can help create a policy environment that encourages generation of more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities; improve employability and productivity of workers; and provide support to existing and emerging businesses,” he said.
Nograles said the NERS Task Force has been created “to help move the NERS along.”
The new group will be co-chaired by the Department of Labor, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Members of the task force include Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, and National Security Council.
“An executive order is now being readied to institutionalize the NERS Task Force in order to oversee all these efforts,” Nograles said.
The NERs framework, Nograles said, is based on stimulating the economy and employment, supporting enterprises, jobs, and income, protecting workers in the workplace, and trusting social dialogue to encourage Innovative Solutions
So far, he said the task force has discussed policy considerations such as the need for a whole-of-government approach that will help create jobs and encourage more investments vis-a-via key government policy and program interventions as well as the affordability of testing requirements to restart the tourism industry.
The task force also tackled the push for policies to strengthen finances through measures such as the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery Bill, Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Bill, Personal Property Security Act, and Warehouse Receipt Bills which will help the access to finances of pandemic-hit enterprises.