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Employers back bills setting up labor force competitive program

MANILA, Philippines — Employers have expressed support to the establishment of a labor force competitive program as well as free access to technical and vocational programs for the poorer but qualified segments of the population.

In its latest position paper, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said it is backing House Bills 5729, 5889, 5923 and 6287 – all of which share the aforementioned development goals and will be uniformly known as the  “Tulong Trabaho Act of 2017.”

According to ECOP, the common objectives of the bills is to strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving workplaces and work structures.

The bills also seek to provide for more innovative approaches to education and training linked to the requirement of industry, facilitate access to quality technical education and training, and encourage the participation of industry and communities in competencies formation and upgrading towards a more competitive Filipino workforce.

To fund the program, three of the four bills seek to establish a Tulong Trabaho Fund to be included in the General Appropriations Act, while other authorizes Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to establish the fund with specified duties and functions.

The fund shall be used to pay the fees of qualified recipients in selected training programs.

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“In this connection and with due respect, it is suggested that the Tulong Trabaho Fund be directly created by Congress as in the case of the three other bills, in as much as its creation by an administrative body may constitute arrogation of legislative function,” ECOP said.

ECOP said three of the bills provide that access to the fund shall be made available to any person at least 15 years of age who are not employed, not in education, and not in training, as well as employed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and training.

“ECOP endorses the substantive provisions of the bills subject to their consolidation,” the umbrella organization of employers said.

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