Villanueva files his first 20 priority bills

Published July 4, 2022, 4:08 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Joel Villanueva today July 4 filed the first 20 of his priority bills for the 19th Congress to continue his advocacy and fulfill his campaign promises of job creation and security.

“For our second term, our job in the Senate is still jobs. We are pushing for job opportunities and job security through these proposed laws to strengthen our nation against poverty and any crisis,” he said.

Among Villanueva’s top priority bills is the “Trabaho Para Sa Lahat ng Pilipino Act” that establishes the National Employment Action Plan to set the government’s direction for job creation. The National Employment Action Plan will also continue the objectives of the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) that is currently being implemented by the NERS Task Force headed by the Department of Trade and Industry.

“Since the NERS set its targets only up to this year, we aim to extend it and transform it into the National Employment Action Plan to go beyond the target of creating two million jobs for the next few years. Job creation should be sustained based on the prevailing socio-economic trends while facing any crisis,” the senator from Bulacan said.

Villanueva is also prioritizing the “End of Endo,” or the Security of Tenure Act for workers in the private sector.

“We have been fighting for the passage of the Security of Tenure Act into law since 2016. Although it was vetoed, it went through rigorous and comprehensive consultations with all concerned sectors so that both workers and employers stand equally in the proposed law. This is already long overdue, which is why we will be working with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) , the Department of Finance (DOF), workers groups, business associations, and other sectors for the passage of the ‘End of Endo’ Act into law,” the senator said.

Villanueva filed a similar bill for the regularization of casual or contractual employees who have been working for more than 5 years in national government agencies, and those who have been working for more than 6 years in local government units.

Aside from the National Employment Action Plan, other new proposals from Villanueva include amending the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) Law to allow work from home schemes for businesses in special economic zones, the Expanded Unemployment Insurance Act, and a Php 100 billion stimulus fund and wage subsidy for small businesses under the MSME (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises) Stimulus Act.

Villanueva also re-filed other bills that advance the welfare of Filipino workers, such as the institutionalization of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers Program (TUPAD), Freelance Workers Protection Act, Alternative Working Arrangements Act, and the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.