Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday, June 30, called for the proper implementation of the recently-signed executive order (EO) on the government’s employment recovery strategies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Villanueva issued the appeal as he welcomed Malacañang’s unveiling of its ₱1.14-trillion National Employment Strategy (NERS) and the supposed inclusion of some of his suggestions into the plan.
“Maganda po ang layunin ng National Employment Recovery Strategy, na nakikita natin bilang isang panimulang aksyon tungo sa paglilikha ng trabaho at kabuhayan para sa ating mga manggagawa (The NERS has a good objective, and we can see that it is a start to creating jobs and livelihoods for our laborers),” the Senate labor committee chairman said in a statement.
“The hard work of transforming ideas into tangible actions can now start,” he added.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said last Monday, June 28, that President Duterte has signed EO No. 140, which institutionalizes the interagency NERS Task Force to carry out the job recovery strategies from 2021 to 2022.
The NERS, among others, includes the passage of legislation and policies to boost economic and employment recovery and the provision of aid to businesses as well as vulnerable groups.
It also called for the approval of a ₱24-billion wage subsidy program for private sector workers.
Villanueva, however, pointed out that four-page EO No. 140 “merely painted the broad strokes of job generation.”
He said the NERS Task Force must flesh out specific targets to realize its objective.
“Inaasahan po natin na ang jobs program ay mayroong malinaw at specific na targets, na siyang hihimayin ng ating NERS task force (We expect that the jobs program will have clear and specific targets from the task force),” Villanueva said.
He appealed for a “national trabaho (job) map” that will identify “where and when jobs will open and who will hire.”
“I think the scoreboard like the one created for vaccines will help give us a clear picture on whether we are hitting our employment generation targets or not. That way, we will be able to measure if the EO is indeed creating job orders,” he said, urging the authorities to closely monitor the implementation of the NERS.
Bello said the NERS is expected to generate at least 220,000 and assist over 1.4 million Filipinos.