Senator Joel Villanueva welcomed the news from the Department of Trade and Industry around half a million jobs will be generated with an eased Alert Level 1 restrictions in the country.
“This is a loud and clear alert signal for our workforce. The lowering of restrictions as well as COVID-19 cases in the country is great news for our unemployed Filipinos. We should help our workforce in bringing back the vibrance in our economy,” Villanueva said.
Based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority last December 2021, the Philippines has a 6.6% unemployment rate which is equivalent to 3.27 million unemployed Filipinos.
The veteran legislator also called on the Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that the reported 500,00 job openings that DTI mentioned should be immediately filled up.
“We should make them feel that the reopening of the country’s economy is for their own benefit.”
“Let’s make sure that our workforce is ready and able to take on these job opportunities. We should make them feel that the reopening of the country’s economy is for their own benefit,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development said that the government should support workers as the economy reopens.
This includes the ease of processing requirements and documents for job applications.
The senator also called on both the DOLE and DTI to protect workers coming back to work under Alert Level 1.
“Telecommuting or working from home helps ease the problems caused by daily commute and traffic.”
“Aside from still being in a pandemic, we expect that traffic and problems related to public transportation will return when our economy reopens. We have learned that these problems are time wasting and exhausting, which is why we should continue giving our workers the option to work from home as long as they can be productive,” he said.
“Telecommuting or working from home helps ease the problems caused by daily commute and traffic, especially with the recent and unending increases in the price of fuel,” Villanueva added.
Before the pandemic, Filipinos spent an estimated 257 hours (10 days and 17 hours) in rush hour traffic for the year 2019, according to the TomTom Traffic Index Report.
He added that flexible work arrangements help lower cases of COVID-19 because of decreased physical contact in workplaces. He added that working from home eases the congestion in public transportation that could still be sources of super spreader events for the virus.
“Our new normal is a combination of work-from-home and working face-to-face. We pushed for the passage of the Telecommuting Law even before the pandemic to establish mechanisms and systems to support work-from-home and hybrid work set-ups for businesses and employees,” Villanueva concluded.