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Towards PH labor market growth, DOLE joins ADB and CIDA technical assistance program

To indicate its serious effort to contribute to the national agenda of inclusive growth through employment-led strategies, the Department of Labor and Employment is reviewing its regulatory policies and rules to inject timely and effective labor market reforms in its employment facilitation mechanisms.

It is also partnering with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through a technical assistance program to boost job creation by filling the cappacity gap for labor market policy development and delivery of employment services.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday as the DOLE, through the Institute of Labor Studies (ILS), launched the Technical Assistance Program on Employment Facilitation for Inclusive Growth (EFIG)
at the Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros Manila.

“The DOLE is working with the ADB and CIDA to pave the way to a convergent effort for necessary reforms needed to make the country’s labor market more robust, responsive, and attuned to the demands of the global economy,” Baldoz said during the press conference held on the occasion of the hand-over of the paper on the technical assistance program.

The four-year technical assistance program (it begins this year and ends in 2017), supported by a financial grant of US$5.6 million from the ADB and the CIDA, has two objectives: (1) to help young people find the right jobs at a faster rate and (2) to support policy makers and regulators in arriving at better employment solutions, decisions, and strategies.

"The EFIG is a component of the Philippine government program called Increasing Competitiveness through Inclusive Growth, or ICIG, a larger initiative to improve competitiveness and boost job creation through regulatory reforms, policy and program impact assessment, and institutional development," said Baldoz.

Aside from the DOLE, the Departments of Finance; Justice; Tourism; and Transportation and Communications also implement the ICIG.

“Good regulation is fundamental to a well-functioning economy and society. It is important that we get our regulations directed towards ensuring more decent jobs for all Filipinos,” Baldoz explained.

The EFIG's first component is a project called “My First Job” which aims to improve the youth employment situation in the country through the effective delivery of current and relevant labor market information, career guidance, employment coaching, job referrals and placement, and on-the-job training.

"My First Job" aims to benefit 1,600 youth and four Public Employment Service Offices in Taguig City, Quezon City, General Trias, Cavite, and San Fernando, Pampanga.

On the second component, which is capacity-building, the technical assistance program aims to benefit at least 60 DOLE technical staff and 20 DOLE directors on labor policy research, regulatory impact assessments (RIA) of selected provisions of the Labor Code and other existing labor laws and regulations, and training and seminars.

At the conclusion of the EFIG, it is expected that the following would have been achieved/developed: manuals for enhanced employment services for PESOs; job search tools; e-regulation website; at least 20 labor policy research papers; learning hub for policy analysis; DOLE staff trained on policy analysis and evaluation; and DOLE capacitated in policy framework and labor governance systems.

The joint DOLE-ADB-CIDA project shall make funding available for field research on selected employment policy issues; development of methodologies and standards for mitigating risks and options for employment facilitation; and crafting of protocols for an early employment recovery program.

Baldoz expressed hope that the EFIG will bring about improved regulatory governance in the field of labor and employment.

“I place high hopes on this partnership," said Baldoz. "It gives us an opportunity to fast-track the achievement of inclusive growth and boost job creation by enhancing employment services, policies, regulations, and capacities. It will also improve job-readiness among our workers, especially the youth."

(With reporting by the ILS. For more information on this press release, please contact Mr. Bryan Balco, Labor Employment Officer III of the Institute for Labor Studies, at 5273490, 5273447)

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