Bill seeks to reduce the country’s unemployment rate

By on February 18, 2016

(Malacanang stock photo)
(Malacanang stock photo)

MANILA—Rep. Erlpe John M. Amante (2nd District, Agusan del Norte) has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to focus its recruitment and training on public high schools and state colleges and universities to address the unemployment problem in the country.

Amante filed House Bill No. 5894, which mandates DOLE to install and regularly update job search kiosks in at least two public high schools with the highest student populations in every city and municipality and in all SUCs and LCUs catering to students and residents living in the vicinity.

Amante said there is an urgent need to enhance the accessibility of DOLE’s Labor Market Information (LMI) to mitigate unemployment, underemployment and labor mismatch.

Citing the DOLE’s unemployment rate in 2015, Amante said the national underemployment rate was 17.5% translating to over 6.5 million individuals emphasizing on job-skills mismatch as one of the main reasons of high unemployment rate.

“The youth unemployment issue was discussed during the 10th National Youth Parliamentary as there were gaps in the operation of LMI-programs. It indicated that a significant number of targeted beneficiaries of the LMI programs are the youth who are the main component of the labor force,” Amante said.

Amante said DOLE should expand its LMI to public high schools, state universities and colleges (SUC) and local colleges and universities (LCU).

“Empowering our current and future labor pools with tools that will allow them to make an informed choice about their jobs and careers will ultimately redound to better overall state of employment in the country,” said Amante.

Amante said the LMI should focus on the labor demand and supply, income, employer hiring practices, worker job preferences which shape employer and worker relationship, policies and programs of government, investment decisions and job-selection by workers.

“The youth is not aware of DOLE’s LMI due to lack of efficient mechanisms in making these programs accessible and readily available,” Amante said.

He said the program should include information on local and overseas employment, labor market trends and career guides; training programs offered by the DOLE, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and other government agencies, and manual on the processing of government and other job-related requirements.

“This is helpful because it allows current job seekers to know where their skills and competencies are needed, as well as future members of the labor force to plan for their careers,” said Amante.