Job seekers fill out application forms at a job fair in Manila, Feb. 24, 2023. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has signed into law a bill authorizing the creation of a national masterplan to address unemployment and underemployment.

The law seeks to address the “need to update the skills of our workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly for our micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises or MSMEs,” he said in a speech at the ceremonial signing of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act.

“The law will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, underemployment, among others,” he said.

The law aims to boost the competitiveness of the workforce through upskilling and reskilling efforts.

The law establishes the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Inter-Agency Council, which will be headed by the Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). It is tasked with drafting a master plan for employment generation and economic recovery, with three-year, six-year and 10-year development timelines.

The Trade and Labor Secretaries will serve as co-chairs of the council.

The council will also assist local government units in planning and implementing employment generation and recovery programs.

The law “will facilitate stronger coordination and partnership among relevant agencies and stakeholders for the efficient implementation of employment programs,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza