Baldoz says JP-YEM opens door to employment for young people, provides options to migration

November 19, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 19 — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on Monday said the Joint Program on Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth, better known as the Joint Programme on Youth Employment and Migration (JP-YEM), has opened the door for young people to employment opportunities and provided them valuable alternatives to working abroad.

"That's what basically what the JP-YEM is all about. It's about providing our youth access to employment opportunities and attractive alternatives to becoming overseas Filipino workers," Baldoz said of the JP-YEM as it wounds to a close after a three-year pilot implementation.

Baldoz said the JP-YEM, which supports the country’s vision of a productive and competitive youth, provided employment opportunities to the Filipino youth in Masbate, Agusan del Sur, Maguindanao, and Antique (MAMA)–the four pilot provinces which had been selected for the program because of their high incidences of poor out-of-school youth, low enrollment rates, and where the Millennium Development Goals were least likely to be achieved.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), had spearheaded the implementation of the JP-YEM, a three-year program developed by the UN Country Team agencies, namely, International Labor Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in support of the Philippines’ MDGs.

The joint program is supported by the government of Spain and funded under the MDG Fund.

“The joint program has improved our youth employment and migration policies, particularly those of the four provincial governments, and enhanced the implementation of these policies through the full participation of our stakeholders. It has increased the access of poor young women and men to decent work,” said Baldoz.

Baldoz said one of the more spectacular achievements of the Joint Program was to enable many poor Filipino youth in the MAMA provinces to finish secondary education and, therefore, have the option to either pursue a technical-vocational course or enter university.

She also said that through the JP-YEM, many youth in the four provinces have embraced entrepreneurship as an alternative to local and overseas wage employment.

"Young Filipinos should become entrepreneurs at an early age as an alternative to wage or salaried employment. This contributes to a country's economic strenght," she remarked.

The youth constitutes the largest chunk of the country's unemployed workforce. Based on National Statistics Office (NSO) data, there are around 18.22 million young Filipinos aged 15-24 as of 2010. Of this number, 6.82 million are employed, while 1.46 million are unemployed.

The NSO data also show that the youth comprises about 35 percent of all overseas Filipino workers, which number translates to a “youth” share in the dollar remittances of OFWs. (PNA)



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