Former president Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 108691 or the law institutionalizing the nationwide implementation of the JobStart Philippines Program on June 29 or a day before he stepped down from office on Thursday.
Under the law, high school graduates aged 18 to 24 years may register and become JobStart trainees and undergo training and gain the necessary experience required by companies.
The Department of Labor and Employment will be the executing agency of the JobStart program and provide the training cost as specified under a memorandum of agreement. The trainees shall receive a daily allowance to be determined by DOLE, the new act stated.
For the past years, DOLE has been implementing the JobStart Philippines program in an effort to further reduce youth unemployment by improving their technical skills through training. It has benefitted thousands of unemployed young people in various regions nationwide.
Under the program, qualified beneficiaries are provided with knowledge on conducting job searches; access to career guidance and employment coaching; access to relevant Labor Market Information and Public Employment Services Office infrastructure and referral to potential employers.
The DOLE and labor groups expressed hope that the institutionalization of the JobStart program would not only make employment search shorter, but also curb the high unemployment rate among the youth.
“With the passage of JobStart Philippines Act, more youth at risk will be benefited with the full cycle of employment facilitation services, particularly life and skills training and internship opportunities that will shorten their school-to-work transition,” DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment director Dominique Tutay said. – With Paolo Romero