Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas is Pushing for the Immediate Passage of Labor Employment Assistance Program (LEAP) Act
SHOWING support and gratitude to the Filipino workers on Labor Day celebration, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas is pushing for the immediate passage of Labor Employment Assistance Program (LEAP) Act.
Pending before the House committee on labor and employment is Vargas’ House Bill 4706 or an Act Establishing a LEAP, amending presidential decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the labor code of the Philippines, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.
The intention of the measure, according to Vargas, is to address the mismatch between business demands and the capabilities of Filipino workers for them to be easily employed.
The LEAP will serve as a bridging program for workers in between job periods, Vargas, vice chairman of appropriations committee, added.
“Through this initiative, we are bridging the gap between the skills set of the Filipino workers and the jobs available in the country,” Vargas said.
Likewise, Vargas said, through this measure he wanted to contribute to the AmBisyon Natin 2040, a 25-year long term vision of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The AmBisyon Natin 2040, initiated by the NEDA represents the aspirations of the Filipino people and describes the kind of life that people want to live, as well as how the country is envisioned to be by 2040.
According to the studies, supporting the AmBisyon Natin 2040, 79 percent of Filipinos aspire for a simple and confortable life which includes having opportunities for good quality employment without leaving the country.
However, 48.5 percent of Filipinos are not fully confident that they can reach their goals.
Citing various studies, Vargas pointed out that one of the challenges hindering the country from achieving the vision is unemployment.
While unemployment rate slightly dropped from 6.6 percent on 2017 to 5.3 this 2018, still millions of Filipinos are jobless.
Vargas was saddened by the fact that millions are still jobless when there are thousands of jobs available for the Filipinos.
“This representation is very much concern of our Filipino workers, there are a lot of job vacancies but sad to say many of them do not possess the required qualifications for these opportunities,” Vargas said.
Under his proposal, the government using allocations from the general appropriations shall create a LEAP.
The LEAP shall serve as a 3-month bridging program for workers in between job periods. It must also link to Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education and Department of Labor and Employment.
The main purpose is to provide more learning and skills to the Filipino workers in between job periods so that their know-hows, proficiencies and abilities will be honed while waiting for another jobs.
It is also directed to provide financial assistance to workers in between job periods at an amount which is no less than appropriate minimum wage.
“The amount of financial support shall not be lower than the appropriate minimum wage in the form of a monthly cash card or stored value card for basic necessities like rice, infant formula, medicines, electricity and water utilities,” Vargas said.
-News Release 30 April 2018