2022 Philippine Elections

Robredo’s job recovery plan: Revive Filipino industries, unemployment insurance

Aika Rey
Robredo’s job recovery plan: Revive Filipino industries, unemployment insurance

JOB RECOVERY. The mood was festive at the opening of the Leni-Kiko Campaign Headquarters in Brgy. Alfonso in Concepcion, Tarlac, on Wednesday, 08 December 2021.

Office of the Vice President

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo's comprehensive 'Jobs for All' plan includes a push for the anti-discrimination bill

Presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday, December 10, unveiled her job recovery plan dubbed as “Hanapbuhay para sa Lahat” (jobs for all) plan.

Just as with her pandemic response plan, Robredo presented a detailed job recovery plan hinged on five main themes – regaining trust in government, reviving Filipino industries, ending discrimination at work, supporting small businesses, and cushioning the impacts of unemployment.

“Mahirap ang buhay. Gusto mong guminhawa. May mga pangarap ka. Handa kang magsikap para matupad ang mga ito. Kaya ang gobyerno, dapat hindi hadlang kung ‘di katuwang mo. Sa araw-araw mong pagkayod, dapat kakampi mo ang gobyerno,” the Vice President said.

(Life is difficult. You want to have a comfortable life. You have dreams. You are ready to work hard to achieve them. That’s why the government should not be a barrier in achieving those but should be helping you. In your daily hardships, the government should be your partner.)

For Robredo, regaining the public’s trust in the government meant that corruption and red tape should be eradicated and that the playing field for businesses should be leveled.

“Tama na ang palakasan at gobyernong walang isang salita. Gawin nating patas ang merkado,” said Robredo. (Stop the favors and a government without one word. Let’s make the market fair.)

To do so, Robredo said that the National Competitiveness Council should be revived. Its main thrust should be on ensuring that the Philippines remains globally competitive and ensuring that this plan is carried out.

Robredo also said that the Philippine Competition Commission and the Ease of Doing Business Act should be further strengthened.

To reduce corruption in government, Robredo said that agencies with a risk of being a “breeding ground of corruption” should have fewer person-to-person interactions.

On reviving Philippine industries, the presidential aspirant wants to do the following:

  • Strengthen the maritime and shipbuilding industry
  • Push for a “climate industry” and build green infrastructure that could generate jobs
  • Bring in tech firms in the country
  • Revive the manufacturing industry

On green projects, Robredo said that she will be pushing for green transport – where more electric-powered vehicles and sustainable transport roam the roads. She also said that there should be a transition framework on how the energy sector could shift to more sustainable options in creating green jobs.

She is also pushing for luring tech companies to the Philippines, including those focused on microelectronics, artificial intelligence, cloud services, aeronautics, et cetera.

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Part of her plans is supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This include the following:

  • Prioritizing MSMEs and agriculture workers in getting government contracts
  • Market linkages
  • Enforcing new rules appropriate for a digital economy

The Vice President also said that business incubators should be present nationwide.

Welfare-based government

The opposition bet presented her job recovery plan with veteran labor leader Sonny Matula, who is running for Senate under Robredo’s slate.

Robredo is pushing for unemployment insurance – where unemployed Filipinos would be able to receive 80% of their three-month salary to help tide them over.

She said that a retaining and skills-matching program will be launched by her government if she is elected president. A public employment program targetting at least 1.8 million unemployed Filipinos would also be launched under her watch.

The work environment in the Philippines should also be anti-discriminatory, according to Robredo’s job platform. Robredo is pushing for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill.

She said that the anti-age discrimination law and measures that support older workers to continue contributing to the economy should be implemented. Robredo wants to partner with the private sector on creating programs that empower older workers.

“Kung may kakayahan at handa kang magbanat ng buto, kahit may edad ka na at anuman ang natapos mo, karapatan mong maghanapbuhay,” said Robredo.

(If you have the skills and you are ready to work, even if you are old and whatever degree you finished, you have a right to work.)

Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, have said they will strive to run a “people’s campaign” in the high-stakes 2022 elections. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.