President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the government’s employment recovery proposal, which is expected to jump-start the labor industry in the Philippines.

On Tuesday, the Palace officially released a copy of the signed document or Executive Order No. 140, which adopted the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS). 

As part of the inking of the plan, the EO institutionalizes the 20-agency strong NERS Task Force (TF) – assigned to implement the recovery strategy until 2022. 

Besides this, NERS will also be presiding over “the recovery of the labor market through the creation of a policy environment that encourages generation of and improved access to employment, livelihood, and training opportunities; the improvement of employability, wellness, and productivity of workers; and the provision of support to existing and emerging businesses, ensuring the preservation of employment.”

It will be chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as co-chairs.

The recovery program was supposed to be signed on Labor Day (May 1), however, the EO was still undergoing revisions so it had to be postponed. 

DOLE noted that EO 140 will strengthen the implementation of the eight-point employment recovery agenda.

The plan – worth Php 1.14-trillion – is expected to generate at least 220,000 jobs and assist over 1.4 million Filipinos struggling with unemployment and income losses.

Although now signed, not all recommendations from the NERS Task Force were adopted, specifically the Php 24-billion program to retain 1 million workers through a monthly subsidy of P8,000 over three months. It’s part of the stimulus program Bayanihan 3, which Congress has yet to approve. 

However, DOLE said the proposed wage subsidy program is next in line in the approval list. 

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