Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III described as a “big step toward job recovery” President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 140, instituting the Inter-Agency Task Force on the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS).
“We thank the President for taking this bold, big step in the road towards the recovery of employment for our people,” Bello said, adding that the labor department will do its best in taking the lead in developing a holistic employment recovery plan along with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as NERS Task Force co-chairs.
The labor chief also urged for the continuous retooling and upskilling of workers to keep up with the changing global work landscape.
“Let us upskill our workers so they can compete in any new normal,” the labor secretary said, citing possible job displacements as digital technologies take over manual labor.
But he gave assurance of the President’s support for the Filipino workers as the nation transitions to digital work environment.
“Nandito po ang inyong pamahalaan, sa pamumuno ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte, para siguraduhing ang inyong karapatan sa disente at produktibong trabaho ay patuloy na pinoprotektahan. We will see to it that your rights are not violated,” Bello said.
Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay, meanwhile, said that a partnership project between the government and the private sector has been set in motion to support the NERS plan.
Said project aims to immediately source Filipino talents for deployment in the construction, semiconductors and electronics manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, and export industries, the labor assistant secretary said.
Mission RACE (Rebooting Activities through Community Engagements) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program are also some of the DOLE programs lodged under the agenda.
The NERS’ 8-point employment recovery agenda include providing additional wage subsidy for private sector workers, retooling and upskilling of the Filipino workforce, and extending assistance to businesses and employers, among others.
The full implementation of the NERS agenda will entail a budget of about ₱1.14 trillion and is expected to generate 220,000 jobs and benefit over 1.4 million Filipinos.