By Louella Desiderio, July 2, 2024; The Philippine Star

Manila, Philippines —  The government expects to complete the country’s employment master plan under the Trabaho Para Sa Bayan (TPB) Act by November this year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

“The plan will be drafted from September to October, with its finalization expected by November,” the NEDA said in a statement issued over the weekend.

It said regional consultations will be conducted for the TPB blueprint from July to September.

Under Republic Act 11962 or the TPB Act signed by President Marcos in September last year, the government is mandated to create a master plan aimed at increasing the number and quality of employment opportunities in the country, as well as enhancing the employability of the Filipino workforce.

This plan will be crafted by the TPB Inter-Agency Council (IAC) chaired by the NEDA secretary and co-chaired by the secretaries of trade and labor.

Also part of the council are the heads of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Departments of Budget and Management, Finance and the Interior and Local Government, as well as representatives from the employers’ organizations, labor groups, marginalized or vulnerable sector and informal sector.

During the National Employment Summit held at the Manila Hotel from June 26 to 27, the TPB-IAC presented the plan’s guiding document.

The plan will prioritize the creation of more quality and decent jobs, as well as have robust employment policies with strong implementation measures, efficient monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

It will also advocate for equal employment opportunities regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or creed, and promote skills development and training as well as the collaboration of the government, formal and informal institutions and workers’ and employers’ organization to achieve goals.

In addition, it will address future work challenges and ensure full protection for all workers, while recognizing the rights of both workers and enterprises.

As the country is working on social and economic transformation, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan underscored the importance of a cohesive strategy for employment generation and preparations for  changes in the employment landscape.

“This stance will help us prepare a more resilient workforce and enable us to design appropriate policies to support employers, employees, the vulnerable sector and the informal sector,” he said in his message delivered by NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon.