Palace addresses rising unemployment with EO

February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is preparing an executive order to institutionalize efforts that will address the rising incidence of unemployment due to the pandemic.

Secretary to the Cabinet Karlo Nograles said the government wanted to ensure that Filipinos who lost their jobs last year would be able to recover this year.

Nograles said the government is urging Filipinos to venture into entrepreneurship as it continues to support existing and emerging businesses.

“An executive order is being readied to institutionalize the NERS Task Force in order to oversee all these efforts,” Nograles said, referring to the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy.

Due to the pandemic, Nograles said unemployment peaked in April at 17.6 percent or equivalent to 7.2 million of the population.

“While we were able to cut that in half to 8.7 percent in October, we recognize that a coherent national strategy can help create a policy environment that encourages generation of more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities; improve employability and productivity of workers and provide support to existing and emerging businesses,” Nograles added.

To fast track development among enterprises, Nograles said the administration is working on improving the internet inter-connectivity in the country.

“The ultimate objective is to connect the Filipino people and to provide the means for our kababayan to not just survive, but thrive in the digital age,” he said.

Nograles said the NERS Task Force has been formed as part of the administration’s strategy to address unemployment.

The task force is co-chaired by the Department of Labor, Department of Trade and Industry and TESDA.

Among the policy considerations that the NERS Task Force included is the emphasis on the need for a whole-of-government approach to help create jobs and encourage more investments.

To restart the tourism industry, Nograles said concerned agencies are working on the affordability of testing requirements.

Although Duterte has rejected the proposal to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine, Nograles said the government would continue working to improve the economy.

Work competency

Government officials and employees have been urged to take advantage of the online learning scheme to improve their work competencies.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) said the pandemic has driven many organizations to offer webinars and online training courses, making learning relatively more accessible, convenient and affordable.

It said it is important for civil servants to regularly enrich their knowledge or upgrade their competencies in order to meet the expected performance levels and continue delivering effective public service.

Agencies are responsible in establishing a learning and development program that will address competency gaps in the workforce, the CSC said.

As a training institution for the public sector, the CSC has seen the need to fast-track the introduction of its e-learning program due to the consequences of the pandemic.

It started offering online courses since June. Its Civil Service Institute (CSI) and regional offices are using videoconferencing apps and social media to give webinars on civil service policies for government agencies, some of which are free of charge.

Civil servants can also take relevant courses outside what the CSC offers. As of October, 37 private learning and development institutions have been accredited by the CSI to complement the CSC’s learning and development interventions for the bureaucracy.

The CSI regularly updates its list of ALDIs, which may be accessed on its website at – Rhodina Villanueva

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