State programs to boost employment

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has expressed optimism the country’s employment situation will improve shortly with the various economic recovery initiatives by the government.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he expects a change in the employment trend in the coming months with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the roll-out of the government’s ‘Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Recover’ (PDITR) strategy, and making public transport safe and sufficient so that more business can reopen and more workers can return to work.

Noting the slight improvement in the country’s employment situation as shown by the results of the July 2020 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), Bello said the “significant progress” in the labor market situation is the “result of the government’s commitment in containing the Covid pandemic and its impact through the strict imposition of the minimum health standards, provision of safety-net and income support programs to our workers, and the gradual opening of the economy.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey report said the easing of quarantine restrictions enabled the restoration of 7.5 million jobs and the return to productive work of 4.9 million workers compared to the April 2020 LFS.

The Labor Secretary assured the DOLE “is committed to preserve, protect, and facilitate jobs as we support the development and implementation of government’s Recharge PH recovery plan to facilitate the restarting of social and economic activities in a way that is safe, amid the pandemic.”

“Employment facilitation services in different platforms – online, digital, and face-to-face – with the assistance of our public employment service offices, various national government agencies, and the private sector will be provided to connect Filipino jobseekers with the much-needed decent jobs for the country and its economy,” he added.

Bello vowed to continue its social protection programs for affected workers in anticipation of the enactment into law of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

“We are hopeful the economy will recover into a better normal and would have the capacity to absorb displaced, re-entrants, and new entrants to the labor market,” he said.

He called on Filipino workers and citizens to observe discipline and comply with minimum health protocols —wearing of face mask and face shields, washing of hands, and physical distancing —at all times.

“The health of our economy lies on a healthy workforce,” Bello stressed.

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