According to initial figures gathered by the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force secretariat, the DOLE - Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), 1.191 million Filipinos have received aid through the task force’s 8-Point Employment Recovery Agenda with around Php 2.232 billion of its allocated Php 1.139 trillion budget having been disbursed to date. These statistics were reported during the 3rd Principals Meeting of the NERS Task Force on 22 June 2021, conducted via videoconferencing.

The NERS Task Force implements NERS 2021-2022, an employment recovery plan anchored on the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and ReCharge.PH expanding the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan initiative in consideration of the changes in the labor market and the accelerated adoption of new technologies brought by pandemic.

NERS Chairperson and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez presided over the meeting attended by both NERS Co-chairs, DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña. Representatives from DAR, DepEd, DA, DILG, DOF, DBM, DOTr, DENR, NEDA, DOST, DOT, OCS, NSC, and DPWH were also in attendance, comprising 17 of the 20 member agencies present during the meeting.

Labor Assistant Secretary and Concurrent BLE Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay presented the updates on the NERS 8-Point Employment Recovery Agenda. The report included accomplishments of programs enrolled under the ‘Promote retooling and upskilling of workers’, ‘Full implementation of youth employability programs’, ‘Extend assistance to establishments through loans, deferment of fees, upgrading of processes, etc.’, ‘Provide social protection to vulnerable groups’, and ‘Monitor and support continuous implementation of programs with high impact on employment’ agendas, as well as the successful conduct of the TGER-NERS Job Summit last Labor Day, 1 May 2021.

Asec. Rubia-Tutay stressed that the reported numbers are still partial and don’t reflect the full scope of the task force’s achievements to date. “The initial data accounts for the accomplishments of just a fraction of the many programs enrolled under the Employment Recovery Agenda. The actual figures exceed these numbers substantially.”

The Task Force also discussed the progress of its proposed wage subsidy program for private sector workers, reporting that NEDA has already endorsed its recommendations apropos the program to the Office of the President and that provisions for the program was successfully included under the Bayanihan 3 bill.

Developments in the passage of priority legislations that strengthen economic and employment recovery were also reviewed by the assembly. Sec. Bello urged the task force to pursue the codification of local preference in government procurement processes. The body ultimately agreed to issue a resolution endorsing a draft Executive Order on that effect.

Also deliberated during the meeting were feedback from the Labor and Business Sectors on their respective Sectoral Recovery Agendas collected during the small group meetings conducted by DOLE on 28 May 2021 for the labor sector, and DTI on 14 June 2021 for the business sector. The task force conferred on a proposed partnership project with the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines as well, with the assembly concurring to adopt the proposal and pursue the partnership.

 

END/22 June 2021