The regional duty-bearers joined together in an effort to have a congruent approach in ensuring the efficient delivery of programs and services to address the concerns brought by the current health crisis. As such, series of consultations with the various government agencies and stakeholders were conducted to elicit their views and recommendations to serve as inputs in policy enhancement and future implementation.

In line with this, DOLE-NCR participated in two inter-agency activities and shared its accomplishments and labor market information amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Thursdays of September 2020 was earmarked for the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Regional Development Plan and Regional Development Investment Program meetings while TESDA-NCR’s Industry Forum are slated for every week of October 2020. 

During the MMDA sessions, Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes, and Planning Officer Ria Banayag represented DOLE-NCR and reported the employment programs’ comparative accomplishments in the last three years. They also highlighted DOLE-NCR’s undertakings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first quarter of this year. Among the notable employment facilitation programs presented were the DOLE’s Labor Market Information; Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Displaced / Disadvantaged Workers Program #Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko (TUPAD #BKBK) Disinfecting / Sanitation Project; COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP); Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) for OFWs; and other livelihood assistance programs.

In his presentation, Delos Reyes stressed the importance of said programs as part of the government’s efforts to address the adverse impact of the health crisis in both economy and employment. He further said that the stop gap measures are designed to mitigate the concerns as a result from placing NCR under various quarantine periods and at the same time to stimulate the economy and contribute to its growth.

The industry forums of TESDA-NCR on the other hand, aims to gather information from both the stakeholders and duty-bearers and stir the technical-vocational education in the region into the right direction as a response to the needs of the labor market. During said activity, Delos Reyes together with Allyson Lorraine Arceo, Labor and Employment Officer II of DOLE-NCR, presented the identified key employment generators (KEGs) in Metro Manila and its demands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their presentations, they also highlighted the “resilient jobs” under the services sector such as logistics, health and wellness, wholesale and retail trade, and IT-BPM. Construction was likewise discussed under the industry sector. They also stressed the implementation of various work arrangements that enabled said sectors to continue its operations even on a limited basis that likewise contributed to resiliency.

Though not part of the identified regional KEGs, Arceo discussed the manufacturing and agriculture sector; emphasizing its contributions to the country’s economy and its demands in other regions. She also mentioned the sectors’ relation to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“Mechanization is a clear outcome of the 4IR. It can redefine how things are done from these sectors [manufacturing and agriculture], including ways to increase productivity and so retooling the workers from these sectors is a must,” she said. 

Activities such as inter-agency participation is one of the significant channels that DOLE-NCR utilizes to intensify advocacies on relevant information in the labor market and at the same time, strengthen coordination for a healthy exchange of pertinent data relative to efficient program implementation.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes