THE National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) needs to be made permanent, continuing beyond the pandemic, in order to assist local governments in boosting employment, a Senator said.

Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said in a statement on Thursday that NERS, which is due to expire this year, needs to continue in order “to provide guidance particular to the needs of every LGU (local government unit).”

The strategy, he added, should also be amended to encourage broader LGU participation.

Based on Executive Order 140, NERS is a medium-term plan to deal with “the changes in the labor market brought by the pandemic and the fast adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.”

A more local-centric approach will improve the distribution of employment opportunities across the regions, and ease population pressures in the cities, Mr. Villanueva said.

In addition, a coordinated local employment strategy will minimize the need for both international and local migration for job employment, and corresponding urban explosion problems such as congestion and the rising cost of living, he added.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Mr. Villanueva said the unemployed increased by 6.6% to 3.27 million in December.

“We must also insist that we do not have to move to another province or another country just to work, especially since we are recovering from the pandemic,” he said. “There must be a job for you wherever you are.”

The senator, who chairs the Senate committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources, noted that each jurisdiction has its own unique job market conditions, making LGU participation in national employment recovery “a no-brainer.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan