President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed into law on Wednesday the “Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act,” which seeks to address various labor challenges in the country, leading toward a sustainable and inclusive development of the “New Philippines.”
In his speech during the ceremonial signing of Republic Act (RA) No. 11962, President Marcos thanked Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez for the timely passage of the bill, which is a priority legislative measure of the administration.
The law will focus on improving the employability and competitiveness of Filipino workers through upskilling and reskilling initiatives; and, support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and industry stakeholders.
Based on available records, the Philippine labor sector faces various challenges such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, under-utilization of the youth, low expenditure and coverage of social protection for workers, and the need to update skills and use digital technologies, particularly in MSMEs.
“The law will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector, such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment, among others,” President Marcos said in his speech during the ceremonial signing of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act at the Malacañang Palace.
“It likewise addresses the need to update the skills of our workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly for our micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises or MSMEs,” the chief executive added.
Present during the ceremonial signing of the law were Senate President Zubiri, Speaker Romualdez, Senators Imee Marcos and Joel Villanueva along with other members of the Cabinet.
The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Inter-Agency Council (TPB-IAC), led by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General, will craft a master plan for employment generation and recovery.
It will be co-chaired by the secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with representatives from other agencies and various sectors.
TPB-IAC will also conduct a comprehensive analysis of the employment status and labor market in the country and will ensure the effective use of resources, harmonizing and complementing all government efforts.
The council will also assist local government units in planning, devising, and implementing employment generation and recovery plans and programs within their respective localities, ensuring they are aligned with the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan.
“All government agencies, including LGUs, are enjoined to cooperate and coordinate with the Council to ensure the effective integration of the Plan into their policies and programs,” President Marcos said.
President Marcos also directed the TPB-IAC and all concerned government agencies to fast-track the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law.
The President also urged the DOLE and the NEDA to harmonize the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028 and the ‘Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan’ “to ensure that all government efforts and resources will be effectively and efficiently managed.”
“To our businesses, especially our MSMEs, we will continue to provide support and other incentives such as increased access to financing and capital to promote self-reliance and spur employment generation,” President Marcos said.
“Under this law, we will also incentivize employers, industry stakeholders, and private partners who will facilitate skills development, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing amongst our businesses and our workers,” he added.
Banking on the concerted efforts of the government and the Filipino people, President Marcos expressed confidence that the Philippines will not only achieve the goal of the law but will also realize the collective vision towards a “New Philippines.”
“Sa ating mga mamamayang Pilipino: Alam po namin na hangad ninyo na magkaroon ng maayos, matatag, at marangal na trabaho. Sa pagpasa ng batas na ito, binubuksan natin ang isang bagong yugto sa ating bansa kung saan mayroong sapat at de-kalidad na trabaho para sa lahat,” President Marcos said.
“Kaya samahan po ninyo kami sa pagsisiguro sa tagumpay ng batas na ito at sa pagpanday ng isang maunlad at Bagong Pilipinas,” he added.
Records from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the employment indicators improved in July 2023 compared with the same period in 2022, with an increase in the employment rate and a decline in the unemployment rate.
The underemployment, however, was higher at 15.9 percent in July 2023 compared to 12 percent in June 2022 and 13.8 percent in July 2022.
The Senate passed the ‘Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act’ as Senate Bill No. 2035 on May 29, 2023 and was adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 8400 on August 29, 2023. | PND
Photo Courtesy Daily Tribune