The labor department said its recovery blueprint for employment will enlist multiple government agencies to bring about safer workplaces, improved business and consumer confidence, and the extension of credit to small businesses.

The three-year “whole-of-government” plan is launching this year to address unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay said Friday.

The blueprint is known as the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS), which the government hopes will support legitimate employment and entrepreneurship in the “new normal,” she said at a televised briefing.

Ms. Tutay said the Department of Labor and Employment (DoE) is preparing the recovery plan with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Various other agencies were also consulted in the course of drafting the plan.

The top piority is the “safe re-opening” of business establishments as well as the safety of workers and consumers, Ms. Tutay said. “Second on the list is the restoration of business confidence, consumer protection,” she said. The program will also offer “reboot packages” or extend low interest-rate business loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises to help them recover from the pandemic.

The program also aims to upskill the workforce, particularly in digital skills, she said.

Ms. Tutay said the government is hoping that the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program and the Balik Probinsya program help restore economic activity in the countryside.

Some 420,000 workers were permanently displaced by the coronavirus pandemic, she said, arising from the adoption of more flexible work arrangements or alternative work scheme, or have closed temporarily.

She said jobs in health care, construction and business process outsourcing are the most in demand. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza