Nograles inquires into state of manpower agencies during Covid-19 pandemic
As more Filipinos are rendered jobless due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a neophyte lawmaker called for an inquiry into the conditions of the country’s public and private employment services.
Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles filed House Resolution 1126, citing these services’ “crucial role in preventing the labor market from seizing up during the crisis and in promoting a fast recovery once quarantine measures start to be lifted.”
“We need to find out whether our own Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and private employment agencies are able to properly respond to the extraordinary circumstances we are facing and remedy whatever lack these institutions might have,” Nograles said.
The PESO was created pursuant to Republic Act 8759, or the PESO Act of 1999, as a non-fee charging multi-employment service facility to strengthen and expand the existing employment facilitation service machinery of the government particularly at the local levels.
The country’s gross domestic product shrank 16.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the lowest recorded quarterly growth since 1981, which plunged the country into economic recession.
The country also posted a record-high unemployment rate, with the number of jobless Filipinos ballooning to 17.7 percent or 7.3 million people, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
The Department of Labor and Employment meanwhile said that it has repatriated 139,000 overseas Filipino workers since May, with 80,000 more migrant workers still waiting to be brought home.
“Napakahalaga po ng magiging papel ng ating mga employment services sa hamong hinaharap natin,” said Nograles.
The solon included in the government’s to-do list the preparation of a comprehensive inventory of available jobs in the market.
“We need to aggressively coordinate with the private sector, academe, and civil organizations for the accumulation of information and aggregation of available jobs,” he added.
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