Recognizing Filipino workers as the very foundation of the country’s growth and development, the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. set the tone to provide them with jobs following the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in job and income losses.
According to its year-end report, the administration said the country recorded 46.3 million employed Filipinos across multiple sectors from January to October this year, as it prioritizes creating job opportunities and increasing Filipinos’ employability.
In its accomplishment report for 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that from January to October 2022, the services sector continued to dominate the employment market with about 58.5 percent or 27.12 million total employed persons.
The agriculture and the industry sectors accounted for 23.2 percent (10.75 million) and 18.3 percent (8.50 million) of the employed persons, respectively.
“The employability of the Filipino worker is vital to building a strong labor force. Maintaining a high degree of employability requires the continuous upgrading of skills and knowledge,” according to the administration’s year-end report.
To increase the employability of Filipino workers, the DOLE adopted and implemented modern and responsive technical and vocational training (TVET) and apprenticeship, with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) intensifying its quality-assured TVET delivery, assessment and certification systems.
On September 16, President Marcos ordered the reattachment of TESDA to the DOLE, which will result in “stronger and better program coordination as part of the upgrading of TVET systems,” according to the year-end report.
The labor department also facilitated access to employment opportunities, ensured just and humane conditions of work, and promoted sound labor-management relations and industrial peace.
At the same time, the DOLE initiated the calibration of skills, certification, professional standards and licensure examinations benchmarked with international standards.
And to ensure that the skills of Filipino seafarers meet international competency and skills requirements, the DOLE trained 11,628 seafarers under its Maritime Training and Skills Competency Program.
The DOLE, through the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), also conducted 83 licensure examinations with 349,093 examinees under the Professional Licensure Examination Program.
The Marcos government also strengthened bilateral cooperation with countries hosting Filipino workers and related organizations to protect their welfare and improve working conditions.
On September 7, 2022, the Singapore Ministry of Health and the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) signed a Joint Communiqué to explore deployment mechanisms of Filipino healthcare workers; launch exploratory discussions on deployment arrangements; uphold legal, transparent and ethical recruitment policies; and ensure fair treatment of Filipino healthcare workers in Singapore.
The country also signed a bilateral agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in September that resulted in the resumption of full deployment of Filipino workers to the kingdom on November 7, 2022.
Also, the Philippines, through the DMW, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the province of Alberta, Canada on October 6, 2022, strengthening cooperation on the welfare of Filipino nurses.