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The draft department order seeking to strengthen the government’s employment insurance program is reviewed anew during the DOLE Tripartite Executive Committee (TEC) meeting held at the Occupational Safety and Health Center on Aug. 14, 2015.

DOLE recently drafted the Department Order titled “Guidelines in the Facilitation of Active Labor Market Programs in Case of Job Displacement and Other Industrial Peace Concerns.”

Tasked to review the said department order is the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Task Team on Employment Insurance, whose members include the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC). Three other agencies have been added to the team including the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

ILS representative Patrick P. Patriwirawan Jr. presented the collated comments of the RIA Task Team, which highlighted the proposal of gradually building an employment insurance scheme, which uses separation pay and the existing programs of DOLE and TESDA. The option seeks to minimize the employer’s cost of dismissal by spreading out these costs as premium payments over the period of the worker’s employment. The proposal also involves two phases: program integration, and legislative reform.

Proposed to be integrated under one program are the existing key DOLE programs: Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP); DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Programs (DILEEP), and DOLE Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-AMP). This integration is designed to create a one-stop employment facilitation center to cater to displaced Filipino workers.

ILS’ proposal is informed by the research paper of former ILS staff Benjamin M. Dalumpines III titled “Exploring Options for Employment Insurance in the Philippines: Input to the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on Employment Insurance.”