/ 28 July 2021

TO HELP young Filipinos find quality jobs, the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday announced that it has approved a $400 million policy-based loan to support the government in expanding youth employment and skills development programs.

The ADB said “Facilitating Youth School-to-Work Transition Program, Subprogram 3” shortens the time young Filipinos spend to find work after leaving school.

Under the program, the ADB assists the Department of Labor and Employment in boosting the job facilitation capacity of Public Employment Services Offices nationwide, strengthening labor market programs, improving workplace skills development, and creating a healthy work environment.

“The pandemic has led to job losses in many sectors, especially among young people. There is an urgent need to help young Filipinos find work through innovative labor market programs and skills development initiatives,” said ADB Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade for Southeast Asia Jose Antonio Tan III.

“This new loan reflects our long-term commitment to ensuring that young people find jobs to improve their lives and create a wider employment base for post-pandemic economic growth,” Tan said.

The bank said the subprogram follows the two loans approved in 2017 and 2019.

It said the two loans helped fund reforms that led to full operationalization of PESOs and established DOLE’s flagship JobStart Philippines program, which provided over 20,000 youth with life skills training and paid internships, and strengthened apprenticeships.

The ADB noted that the third subprogram will strengthen government measures to address the impact of the pandemic on youth employment.

“This loan will help young job seekers, especially women, access training opportunities and enhance their skills development. It will strengthen labor market policies and provide assistance to returning Filipino workers who lost jobs overseas because of the pandemic through group livelihood and entrepreneurship programs,” Stephen Schuster, ADB Principal Financial Sector Specialist for Southeast Asia, explained.

Among the reforms supported by the new loan are the creation of a P1-billion or about $200 million “Tulong Trabaho” Scholarship Fund, unemployment insurance scheme, and the First Time Jobseekers Act.

“ADB is preparing more support for the labor sector in 2022, including a technical and vocational education and training project and a post-coronavirus disease employment recovery program,” the bank said.