Employers pledge next 1 M quality jobs

Published May 1, 2022, 2:31 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The private business sector made a pledge on Labor Day to create another one million quality, decent and sustainable jobs relevant with the current market conditions.

The commitment was signed by 9 business organizations and 3 government agencies as a follow up to the first manifesto signed in June last year where the same business groups and three government agencies comprising the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force agreed to create one million jobs.

This year on the occasion of the 120th Labor Day celebration, the private sector group led by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) renewed their commitment and pledged to create more decent, productive, and quality jobs and equip the workers with the right skills, competencies, and tools in order to meet the skills needs of industries.

The new program, which takes on a new brand, “Beyond 1 Million Jobs: Create. Sustain. Transform”, aims to surpass all the achievements in the previous year, in both quantity and quality jobs for Filipinos.

“As we move forward from the lingering pandemic and with an upcoming administration, the program’s thrusts will also be intensified – transcending job creation, to encompass sustaining and transforming jobs to ensure that interventions are timely and relevant with the current labor market conditions,” said ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Ortiz-Luis said the private sector pledged to create another one million job after hitting their first one million job generation commitment in the first quarter this year.

He said that jobs growth drivers this year are expected to come from the tourism, construction, IT-business process management, and manufacturing.

With the full reopening of the economy, more jobs will be created particularly from the tourism, the hardest hit sector during the pandemic. There is also an ongoing expansion in the IT-BPM sector as well as projected robust growth in electronics globally.

In fact, the NERS Task Force now includes the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PALSCON) and the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) which pledged to participate in the endeavor and contribute to employment recovery.

Aside from jobs creation, the NERS Task Force program under the “Beyond 1 Million Jobs: Create. Sustain. Transform” aims to look at several areas to empower workers.

Foremost, the program will look into policies to ensure that the country is attractive to investments and the business environment is conducive to growth and expansion.

The program will also look at strategies on how to help industries and enterprises sustain jobs, and plans on how to ensure that employers, workers, and the government are able to adapt to the ever- changing world of work.

Under the agreement, the business sector will recommend to the NERS Task Force specific improvements in the business environment. The NERS Task Force will in turn review, harmonize, and develop policies that address the requirements of the future labor market, enable formalization, and encourage investments to create more jobs.

To sustain job creation, the private sector agreed to expand and strengthen industry academe linkage for targeted training, skills matching, and skills anticipation.

The government or the NERS Task Force will institutionalize and harmonize industry-academe linkages, allocate funding for training under existing government programs and utilize national skills mapping initiative for supply and demand matching.

To transform the Filipino workforce into a globally competitive manpower pool, the business sector will identify area specific skills needed, including emerging skills to be developed by member companies.

The NERS Task force will also provide timely and updated labor market information, train workers based on the identified industry skills requirements and engage the education sector in developing labor supply that matches industry needs.

The manifesto was signed by NERS Task Force members including Trade and Industry Sectary Ramon M. Lopez, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and TESDA Sectretary Isidro S. Lapena.

Aside from Ortiz-Luis, signatories from the employers side include ECOP Chairman Edgardo G. Lacson, PCCI President George T. Barcelon, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines Eugene T. Yap, IBPAP President and CEO Jack Madrid, PALSCON President Rhoda C. Caliwara, Philippine Constructors Association Inc. President Wifredo Decena, Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. President Arthur Lopez, Semiconductor and Electronic Industries in the Philippines Inc. President Danilo C. Lachica, and Philippine Exporters Confederation of the Philippines.