Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Department’s private sector partners– Aboitiz Power Corporation; Bruno’s Services Corporation; Republic Cement; Makati Development Corporation; and MyTaxi Philippines Incorporated–on the Assist WELL Program.
“These are companies who have signified their intention and desire to assist the DOLE in providing job and livelihood opportunities for OFWs under our Assist WELL Program,” Secretary Baldoz said, who added the agreements could very well be the precursor of a reverse migration.
Held at the Hive Hotel and Convention Place in Quezon City, the signing of the MOUs is one of the highlights of the launching of the enhanced PhilJobNet, the government’s official job search, job matching, and labor market information portal.
Secretary Baldoz inked the MOUs with Aboitiz Power Corporation Vice President, Human Resources Kristina Cinderella Rivera; Bruno’s Services Corporation Vice President Joyce Magpale; Republic Cement President Renato Sunico; Makati Development Corporation President Dante Abando and Head of Corporate Resources and Services Ferdie Mangali; and MyTaxi Philippines Incorporated Country Marketing Head Khriztina Rhae Lim.
“Our latest partner companies are engaged in various industries–electric power industry; barbershops and salon systems; cement and building materials; construction; and transportation,” Baldoz said.
“With our partnership with these diverse companies, we are hopeful that we can cater to the needs of OFWs who have different sets of skills and work experiences,” she added.
The DOLE initiated the collaboration with these private sector partners to achieve a sustained and continuous set of programs and initiatives for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) intending to be locally-employed or to establish their own livelihood in the country.
“With uncertainties in the global labor market manifesting themselves, we at the DOLE recognize the importance of giving OFWs ample and meaningful opportunities for possible local employment or livelihood at home instead of their continued employment abroad,” she added.
“We want them to know that they have viable options here,” she emphasized.
The WELL in the Assist WELL Program stands for ‘Welfare, Employment, Legal, and Livelihood’, a set of assistance or services that addresses the needs of repatriated migrant workers.
In January this year, Secretary Baldoz issued Administrative Order No. 21 series of 2016 that mandates the strengthened convergence of DOLE agencies in delivering the Assist WELL program.
“Of course, we cannot do this alone. We recognize that our private sector partners are important in achieving this goal, that is why we have come up with these MOUs,” the labor and employment chief said.
The MOUs with the private sector partners detail the following responsibilities of the parties:
First, the MOU states that the parties shall inform each other of their existing or ongoing programs and initiatives on employment and livelihood; and that the parties shall furnish each other, as needed, relevant data, mechanics, statistics, and information on OFWs’ skills and demographics.
Second, the parties shall jointly develop, synchronize, and consolidate, on a “best effort” basis, new programs and initiatives geared for employment matching, livelihood enhancement, technical and/or business training, and the like, for eligible OFWs interested in availing of the same.
Third, the parties shall jointly determine their respective obligations, duties, and responsibilities as to specific projects and initiatives that would be implemented under the MOU.
Fourth, to measure success and to recalibrate areas of collaboration, and other initiatives the parties deem necessary, they shall create an evaluation mechanism.
Fifth, each party shall designate its focal person who will coordinate with the other party and any third person involved; and who will facilitate the fulfilment of the MOU’s objectives.
Sixth, the services provided by each party are free of charge. The parties acknowledge that the MOU is not an obligation of funds, nor does it constitute a legally binding commitment by any party or create any rights for any third party.
The MOU shall take effect immediately upon signing of the parties and shall remain in force unless terminated by either of the parties through formal notice or request from any of the contracting parties at least 30 days prior to the intended termination.
“We, at the DOLE, are hopeful that we will able to strengthen our partnership with industries in the private sector. Let me underscore that we can make a difference by working together towards decent and productive employment for all,” Baldoz said.
During the event, Secretary Baldoz also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the country’s principal health agency, the Department of Health (DOH). Secretary Janette Garin was represented by DOH Bureau of International Health Cooperation Director Maylene M. Beltran. The DOH will make available its vacancies for medical personnel to returning professional and non-professional health workers.