The initiatives of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte have improved the situation of the labor workforce in the country, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
Panelo, who was in Bacolod City yesterday for the opening of the three-day 19th National Public Employment Service Office Congress at the SMX Convention Center, said that since the start of this administration, the numbers in the labor force have “drastically changed.”
In his keynote speech delivered to more than 1,500 participants, he emphasized that the employment rate in the country remained at a peak of 94.5 percent as of July this year.
“This is largely because several local and international investors are deciding to invest their money and business here which, in turn, generate jobs,” he said.
He also pointed out that the country’s unemployment rate “remains stagnant” at 5.5 percent as of April this year. “The underemployment rate went down from 17 percent in July 2018 to 13.9 percent in the same period this year,” he added.
Moreover, he said that efforts of the administration to end contractualization have led to the regularization of more than 460,000 employees in the first three years of the Duterte presidency.
He also cited Duterte’s “landmark measures to improve the job situation” in the country.
These, he said, are Executive Order No. 51 which prohibits illegal contracting, Republic Act 11261 that waives government fees and charges of documents for first-time jobseekers, RA 1165 that allows employees to work from an alternative workplace or at home, RA 11210 that extends the maternity leave, RA 1130 that allows restaurant and hotel workers to get the service charge in full, and the RA 11032 for efficient delivery of government services.
Panelo also lauded the efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment led by Secretary Silverstre Bello III, who was also present during the congress, and the Public Employment Service Office Managers Association of the Philippines for their initiatives in generating jobs for the Filipinos.
He said the convention will allow the participants from all over the country to foster learning and exchange best practices to improve employment facilities. “This is the reason why we have a thriving workforce...bringing a comfortable life, providing a decent job and creating a safe and sound workplace form part of this overreaching goal,” he added.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is hoping that the government can absorb all workers locally, citing many Filipinos who have opted to work abroad.
“Aside from creating more economic opportunities in the country to avoid further exodus of Filipino workers, we must seek a decent, humane, and lucrative employment for workers at home,” he said.
He added that the government must make the Philippines a magnet for new jobs where hard work is rewarded with a wage a family can live on.
“It is for this reason that I fully acknowledge the importance and contributions of our PESO managers and job placement officers in the attainment of our national goal to promote full employment, equal work opportunities, and an improved quality of life for all,” the governor said.*
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