Gov’t earmarks P1.14 trillion for ambitious jobs recovery strategy

Published April 25, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The government has allocated P1.14-trillion budget for the implementation of the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) 2021-2022, top-billed by high impact infrastructure projects. 

Based on the Department of Labor and Employment presentation at the Pre-Summit Dialogue for Business by the Task Group on Economic Recovery, which crafted the 8-Point Employment Recovery Action Plan, the budget have been allocated to different government agencies in charge in the implementation of various projects. Another P24 billion have been proposed additional budget for the NERS.

Department of Labor and Employment (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Labor and Employment (MANILA BULLETIN)

The huge P1.4-trillion budget was top-billed by the continued implementation and monitoring of programs and projects with high impact on employment with total budget of P1.12 trillion that will create 220,000 jobs.

These projects are going to be implemented through the government’s big ticket infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build; the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa, Integrating workforce opportunities for rebalanced communities; Public-Private Partnership for the People Initiative for Local Government Units; and Support to national convergence and initiatives for sustainable rural development. 

Other allotments include the P11.1 billion for the promotion, retooling and upskilling for workers wIth 407,804 beneficiaries; P1.759 billion for the full implementation of youth employability programs with 85,159 beneficiaries; P14.81 billion for assistance to establishments through loans, deferment of applicable fees, upgrading of processes with 140,633 jobs and 37,350 establishments assisted; and P1.1 billion for social protection to vulnerable groups involving 28,670 beneficiaries, 112,541 families and 28,208 entrepreneurs.

At the virtual event, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez cited the business sector for their support to the Pre-Summit Dialogue for Business as they prepare for the Job Summit on May 1, Labor Day. 

“Your valuable inputs will help us prepare for the Job Summit on May 1 by developing a business and labor sector agenda to speed up employment recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Lopez. 

The DTI chief has assured the business sector of government support as they prepare for the safe reopening of the economy. 

“We would like to assure you that in response to the challenges you are facing, government initiatives are ready to help businesses—especially Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)—recover,” he said. 

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

For example, he cited the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program, a micro-financing facility that provides a viable financing alternative to pandemic-affected enterprises. As of April 22, this program has released a total of P2.92 billion to 23,722 pandemic-affected MSMEs. 

The DTI has also programs and partnership with private sector providers to provide digital and online solutions to MSMEs, like the CTRL+BIZ Reboot Now series of webinars. Similarly, the DTI has  Tech Tools for MSMEs, a web page that provides information on the different digital tools and resources to help MSMEs cope with the challenges of the community quarantine. 

As of this March, there are already 1,176 Negosyo Centers nationwide ready to inform and help MSMEs through the government assistance programs. Likewise, the DTI has already provided 2,833 Shared Service Facilities (SSFs) to MSMEs with machinery, accessories, and other items under a shared system.  In addition, he said the government is intensifying the ease of doing business initiatives with the establishment of the Central Business Portal (CBP), a one-stop shop for all business-related information and application. The CBP aims to promote effective service delivery and transparency in the government by streamlining registration of business, renewal of permits, and other activities through online transactions.