Senator Joel Villanueva has welcomed Malacanang’s unveiling of its jobs plan, but said work lies ahead in translating a “Powerpoint presentation into paychecks.”
“Maganda po ang layunin ng National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) na nakikita natin bilang isang panimulang aksyon tungo sa paglilikha ng trabaho at kabuhayan para sa ating mga manggagawa. Nagpapasalamat po tayo at kabilang ang ating mga mungkahi sa pagbabalangkas ng NERS,” said Villanueva, chair of the Senate Labor Committee.
“The hard work of transforming ideas into tangible actions can now start.”
“The hard work of transforming ideas into tangible actions can now start,” the veteran legislator added.
For its part, the Senate, through his committee, will exercise its constitutionally-mandated powers and duty to conduct oversight, “so what is promised will be delivered,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.
“The NERS needs a concerted effort of every one, and our Senate labor committee is prepared to do its part to ensure we would hit our targets. Trabaho at kabuhayan po ng ating mga kababayan ang nakasalalay dito,” the senator stressed.
He noted that the four-page Executive Order No. 140 “merely painted the broad strokes of job generation”.
The details, Villanueva added, will be fleshed out by the “IATF-style 19-person NERS task force composed of Cabinet members and chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Employment”.
“Inaasahan po natin na ang jobs program ay mayroong malinaw at specific na targets, na siyang hihimayin ng ating NERS task force,” he said.
Villanueva urged the NERS task force to create a “national trabaho map” that will identify “where and when jobs will open and who will hire”.
“I think the scoreboard like the one created for vaccines will help give us a clear picture on whether we are hitting our employment generation targets or not,” he said.
“That way, we will be able to measure if the E.O., the Executive Order, is indeed creating job orders,” Villanueva added.
He said the NERS task force’s “first urgent business” is to make sure that economic frontliners, or those in the A4 group, will continue to get their vaccine jabs soon.
“Jabs will create jobs.”
“Jabs will create jobs. There’s no magic formula in that,” Villanueva stressed.
As of June 27, of the 10,065,414 vaccine doses administered, only 12,340 were given to A4 workers who had received two complete shots.
He said the national employment program should aim for regular jobs, “not temporary gigs that will later become ‘endo’ workers in one or two months”.
Villlanueva emphasized the next government employment survey should be able to capture the bump in the number of the employed “and most importantly the reduction in the number of the unemployed”.
In the Labor Force Survey (LFS) issued last April, the unemployment rate was reported at 8.73% or about 4.14 million workers, while the underemployment rate was registered at a high 17.22% or about 7.45 million workers.
Meanwhile, the April LFS also found that there are about 1.1 million workers who consider themselves “employed but not at work,” meaning they are on job rotation, temporarily laid off, among other arrangements.
He urged the government to closely monitor the implementation of the NERS Action Points to ensure objectives and targets are fulfilled.