MANILA, Dec 3 (NNN-PNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB), said today (Tuesday) that it has approved a 400-million-U.S. dollar policy-based loan, to support the Philippine government’s efforts, to reduce the number of out-of-school and unemployed young Filipinos, that impedes more inclusive growth in the country.
The Manila-based ADB said, this programme will support government reforms, aimed at improving the employability of young Filipinos, through labour market programmes and providing easier access to on-the-job training schemes, to help them secure and retain jobs.
The ADB said, the programme builds on ADB’s previous support to the government’s employment initiatives, particularly the Department of Labour and Employment’s design and roll out of the Jobstart Philippines Programme, a full-cycle youth employment facilitation programme that has become law with adequate government funding.
While some progress has been made in reducing unemployment in the country, the ADB said, one in five Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 24, including one-third of young Filipino women, are still not in employment, education, and training, compared with the average rate of 18 percent in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The ADB said, the new ADB loan, supports the government’s efforts, to expand and transform operations of the Public Employment Services Offices in local government units across the country, into more professional processes with quality standards, broaden the coverage of the Jobstart Philippines Programme, and introduce skills development schemes targeting specific sectors.
“This new ADB loan seeks to address the skills mismatch between young job seekers and the competencies demanded by employers,” said ADB Southeast Asia Senior Economist for Public Finance, Cristina Lozano, adding that, it also “strengthens labour regulations to provide income security and decent jobs.”– NNN-PNA