SENATE Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva has sponsored out to the plenary a bill seeking to establish a long-term employment generation and recovery masterplan.

Senate Bill 2035, otherwise known as the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan, seeks to make job creation a product of deliberate policy.

“Employment should not just be incidental to economic development. Generating more decent and permanent employment should be the objective of economic growth, to make growth inclusive and a reality for all,” Mr. Villanueva said in a statement on Monday.

The measure proposes the drafting of a “comprehensive, coherent, and future-oriented employment policy… to address dynamic changes in the labor market.”

He said the Philippine job market suffers from “seasonality, in which jobs can be had during peak business months,” Mr. Villanueva said.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Mr. Villanueva noted that in December, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% from 5.3% in August. However, it rose to a four-month high of 4.8% amid the loss of temporary holiday jobs.

The underemployment rate, he added, has remained high from 13.8% in 2019 to 14.1% in January.

Mr. Villanueva also noted the gap in service sector employment, which consists of 61% of the workforce, while agriculture and industry accounted for 22% and 17%, respectively.

The masterplan will be drafted by an inter-agency council headed by the National Economic and Development Authority, together with the departments of Trade and Industry and Labor and Employment.

The bill is among the priority measures of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan