DOLE planning to generate 1-M jobs in provinces
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is planning to generate one million jobs in the provinces in the coming months as part of a P25-billion post-COVID-19 crisis recovery plan.
“We are deep into the details of a recovery plan post-COVID for the generation of a fresh one million jobs in the provinces for our workers in the coming months,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday, a day before the observance of Labor Day.
“This is part of a package that also includes a three-month wage subsidy to workers in micro and small scale enterprises, including those in the ‘gig’ economy and members of the mass media,” he added.
According to Bello, DOLE would propose to the Department of the Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to increase its workforce by 10 to 20 percent in all of its projects in the provinces to create more employment opportunities.
“Since the recovery plan is anchored on the concept of ‘balik-probinsya’, we will continue and enhance the implementation of the labor department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program for the next three months to employ ‘returnees’ and those in the barangays,” he added.
He said that the project is the “brainchild” of DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez and former labor chief Marianito Roque who is now Bello’s consultant.
Roque said the recovery plan was submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases and that DOLE has yet to receive funding.
He added the department is still determining which provinces will be prioritized under the recovery plan, but added they are looking at prioritizing the poorest areas and areas under lockdown for the project.
Meanwhile, Bello said DOLE and the Department of Trade and Industry would also issue joint guidelines for the “workplace protection and prevention” from COVID-19 to prepare workers for the “new normal” environment in post-coronavirus life.
According to DOLE, more than 2 million Filipinos across the country have been displaced due to the coronavirus crisis.
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