/ 6 June 2021

THE PHILIPPINE Business for Education expressed support and called for immediate legislation of an upskilling program aimed to future-proof Filipinos.

Senator Nancy Binay recently filed Senate Bill Number 2271 or the Jobs Next Act, which creates a skills voucher program that will train Filipinos for the jobs of the future, ensuring their readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution or the current period of rapid technological growth.

The bill prioritizes upskilling and reskilling of the labor force in jobs at high-risk of displacement due to technological and external disruptions.

Workers from disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors are, likewise, prioritized to give them equal opportunity to participate and thrive in the 4IR economy.

“We thank Senator Binay for heeding the call of citizens and industry in these uncertain and challenging times. The pandemic has been ruthless to various industries and many workers have lost their jobs. We expect to see a rise in that number in the age of the digital revolution. This legislation is a welcome development and it promises to build economic resilience,” said PBEd Executive Director Love Basilllote.

Based on International Labour Organization estimates, around 4.2 million Filipino workers are at risk of displacement due to advancements in communication, digital, and computing technologies.

The Jobs Next Act tasks the Department of Trade and Industry to lead the program, in alignment with its leadership of the government’s National Employment Recovery Strategy 2021-2023.

“Our road to economic recovery is built on the backs of our people. We have to invest in their skills development. Government has to see the urgency of this proposal. We call on our legislators to support and pass the Jobs Next Bill,” Basillote added.