Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has set in full throttle a four-point priority agenda to boost job generation and strengthen the social protection of workers.

In a directive to senior officials and heads of offices last week, Bello called for full cooperation and focus on strict implementation of labor standards to ensure job security in workplaces.

“While we continue to work on the finer points on the rules to end illegal contractualization, we shall strictly implement the laws on security of tenure, and will use the full extent of our regulatory and enforcement powers to stop or prevent practices that circumvent them,” Bello said.

Also up in the priority agenda is the DOLE strategy to contribute to the creation of 7.5 million jobs by 2020 under the Trabaho, Negosyo, and Kabuhayan: Blueprint for Decent Job Creation through Employment and Entrepreneurship.

“We have committed to contribute to the creation of more jobs which are mostly in the manufacturing, agri-fishery, construction, tourism, IT-BPM, transportation and logistics, and retail-trade and industry,” Bello said, citing the partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry for the undertaking.

He added that the DOLE also committed to contribute in the attainment of full employment by keeping unemployment rate at five percent.

Last December, DOLE and DTI gathered the public and private sectors and members of the academe to develop a national employment program, a strategic plan that supports the National Development and Security Strategy geared towards the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
Bello noted that while the private sector is primarily responsible for generating employment, the DOLE is mandated to help increase the capacity of the economy to produce goods and services with an adequate and steady supply and movement of skilled and trained human resources.

Also given priority is strengthening the protection and security of overseas Filipino workers through the reduction of incidence of illegal recruitment, effective on-site protection, and enhanced reintegration of overseas workers.

“We will intensify our campaign on illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons through the provision of legal assistance to victims of illegal recruitment as well as in clamping down illegal recruiters and agencies, and in informing and educating OFWs on how not to be victimized by illegal recruitment,” Bello said.

The last agenda is ensuring that the social protection programs of the Department is more accessible, adequate, and sustainable.

Bello said DOLE’s social protection program should benefit those who need them most.

“We should therefore focus on these areas by seeking to address the problems of access, adequacy of benefits, source of funding, and sustainability of the social insurance systems. Moving beyond the short-term, we should be actively engaged in the policy processes involving emerging issues like unemployment insurance and the establishment of a social protection floor,” he said.

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