To support the thousands of repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will launch the Development Outreach for Labor, Livelihood, and Advancement of Resources, or the DOLLAR program.
PEZA director general Charito Plaza said on in a statement on Monday, June 8, the DOLLAR program will create job opportunities for Filipinos by connecting them to 4,542 PEZA locators within its 408 economic zones nationwide.
“The objective of the DOLLAR program is to promote and accelerate industrial, economic, and social development of the country so that jobs can be provided for the Filipino people especially among those living in rural areas,” Plaza said.
In addition to providing job opportunities, Plaza added the program will also focus on enhancing the skills of the Filipino labor force by partnering with state universities and industries.
“(We) need to train them further so that their skills will match the needs of the industries. PEZA’s goal is to transform Filipinos into being multi-knowledge, multi-skilled, and world-class workers in every region of the country,” she said.
Plaza also noted that PEZA is coordinating with local government units (LGUs), public ecozones, locators and industry associations for the implementation of the program.
“Since every region has different needs and resources, this program will encourage the growth of domestic enterprises that will produce the importation needs of export enterprises so that the supply chain is completed and jobs are provided as well,” she said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported the previous week that the country experienced its highest unemployment rate in April 2020 at 17.7% which equates to 7.3 million Filipinos who do not have jobs in the month of April 2020.
During the Sulong Pilipinas online forum Monday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III explained that the surging unemployment figure in April 2020 was overstated, citing that it was mainly due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the government to implement lockdown measures in order to save lives.