THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) told the Senate on Thursday that worker and employer representatives will be granted oversight of its jobs plan recently presented to the Cabinet.

“We will follow up on our labor and employment plan through strategic action planning, where our tripartite partners have oversight over who will benefit from our labor roadmap,” Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on DoLE’s proposed budget for 2024.

“DoLE’s actions are always in line with the demands of our social partners because each sector has its own responsibility to follow.”

Under the proposed P5.76-trillion national budget for 2024, DoLE has been allocated funding of P39.6 billion.

Mr. Laguesma presented DoLE’s roadmap to the Cabinet earlier this month, which called for  increased collaboration with other agencies in creating sustainable jobs and ensuring that workers enjoy social protections.

The jobs plan aims to upgrade worker skills, raise the quality of teachers, and modernize training institutions, Mr. Laguesma told an employer conference last month.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in his second address to Congress urged government agencies to continue improving the employability of the workforce.

Labor groups have urged the government to take the lead by creating more public-sector jobs.

At the same hearing, Senate President Pro-Tempore Lorna Regina B. Legarda urged DoLE to enhance its temporary employment program for displaced workers, adding that it should cover more of the jobless poor.

“We must ensure that the funds we allocate to the agency help generate jobs, reduce poverty and provide assistance to our people in sustaining their needs,” she said.

The unemployment rate in June fell to 4.5% from 6% a year earlier. Job quality worsened that month to 12% from 11.7% in May, but it was lower than the 12.6% recorded in June last year.

“We hope that by the end of President Marcos Jr.’s term, this plan will have brought down poverty levels, increased quality jobs, and allowed our countrymen to play a part in improving the economy,” Mr. Laguesma said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez