Lower House labor panel endorses Job training program for inmates, matured persons

Published March 4, 2021, 9:59 PM

by Ben Rosario

Matured individuals will get a better chance of being gainfully employed or earn more than what they currently receive in salary under a bill that the House Committee on Labor and Employment has endorsed for plenary approval.

In an online committee meeting on Wednesday, March 3, the House panel chaired 1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Enrico Pineda also approved House Bill No. 6018 or the proposed “Kabuhayan for Offenders Through Skills Advancement Act. HB 6018 seeks to institutionalize a training program and provide employment opportunities to inmates in detention facilities in the country.

In the same meeting, the House panel has approved a technical working group draft of the bill that consolidated several legislative measures proposing the establishment of a job training program for mature and older workers.

“This is an important bill for elderly folks who are 40 years or older. Learning knows no boundaries, especially if one is to learn even beyond your most productive years,” said Pineda.

Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rufus Rodriguez; Manila Rep. Yul Servo and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas are among the authors of the bill.

“It is the purpose of my bill to establish programs to prepare mature or older workers for participation in the labor force by increasing occupational and educational skills resulting in improved long-term employability and increased employment and earnings,” explained Rodriguez, author of House Bill 1863.

Vargas, who wrote HB 1892, said the measure seeks to empower mature employes to compete with their young, fresh-out-of-school counterparts.

“Under this proposal, the Department of Labor and Employment is directed to develop a job training program designed for employees above 40 years of age and the demands of the job market,” said Vargas.

Under the proposed Mature and Older Workers Act of 2019, persons who may qualify for the DOLE job training should be 40 years and above.

They should not be earning in excess of the poverty line or are eligible for housing assistance or have been unemployed for a number of weeks.