Philippines passes law to boost employment

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 Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos on Wednesday signed into law a measure creating a master plan to boost employment in the Southeast Asian country.

In a speech, Marcos said the new act will help solve the challenges plaguing the country’s labor sector, such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment.

The new law will also address the need to update the skills of Filipino workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly micro and small enterprises.

This act “will lay the foundation” for employment generation and recovery, Marcos said, ordering the government to fast-track the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said the country’s unemployment rate in July this year rose to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent in June, with a total of 2.27 million Filipinos out of job.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the law supports the government’s priority to create high-quality and high-paying jobs to address the rising issue of vulnerable employment, particularly among self-employed and unpaid family workers.

Aside from addressing unemployment and underemployment, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the new law will establish a comprehensive plan that addresses youth unemployment, the increasing informality of working arrangements, and the reintegration of returning overseas Filipino workers.

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