Lawmaker pushes for unemployment insurance

Stella Luz Quimbo. STORY: Lawmaker pushes for unemployment insurance

Marikina Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo (Photo from her Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo is pushing for a national unemployment insurance program that aims to provide aid to workers during periods of unemployment.

Quimbo has filed House Bill No. 490, or the “PhiJobs Act,” citing the millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs at the start of the lockdowns in April 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that workers are vulnerable to substantial reductions in income and the risk of falling into poverty. Moreover, the COVID-19 experience has shown that government dole-out programs are an inefficient way to provide protection, especially if on a massive scale,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

The measure proposed the creation of a National Unemployment Insurance Program (NUIP), to be administered by a Philippine Job Insurance Corp.

The NUIP seeks to protect the economy and the workers who have been laid off by providing assistance to workers during periods of unemployment.

This is to “avoid major income loss and ensure that consumption levels are not substantially reduced.”

Members of the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System will be automatically covered by the program.

Workers who are not SSS or GSIS members, including those in the informal sector, would be encouraged to join the NUIP through innovative approaches or incentives.

The measure will limit basic unemployment insurance benefits to no more than three monthly payments equal to 80 percent of the worker’s basic pay.

Other benefits will come in the form of training and training allowances and job counseling for the unemployed.


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