MANILA - The United Nations office in the Philippines said Friday it is committed to support the government in addressing the country's unemployment rate, which has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN, led by Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez along with the Director of the International Labor Organization country officer for the Philippines Khalid Hassan, will support the country in implementing the Decent Work Country Program, starting with the backing of the May 1 Jobs Summit on Labor Day, the UN said in a statement.
The summit will bring together stakeholders to tackle economic recovery and jobs generation, the UN said.
It will identify priority concerns of labor and employer groups to address employment problems and provide an avenue for dialogue on areas of cooperation and collaboration, among others, it said.
“We welcome the organization of the Jobs Summit in the Philippines and we will make sure the UN system provides timely and high quality support,” said Gonzalez.
"The pandemic has accelerated existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation, but also weakened the quality of jobs, coupled with growing rates of unemployment. Open and strong social dialogue among key partners is vital," he added.
ILO's Hassan said the government, workers and employers need to work together for human-centered and consensus-based policies.
Unemployment in the country reached 8.7 percent in January, equivalent to 4 million jobless Filipinos, as the pandemic continued to hinder economic activities.
The National Capital Region and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are under a quarantine bubble until April 4 as confirmed infections rose.
Economic managers have said placing these areas under GCQ instead of a lockdown would help the government save lives while also preserving the jobs of Filipino workers.