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ADB approves $400m loan to boost Philippines' youth employment

Published: December 03, 2019 13:41:41 | Updated: December 05, 2019 12:23:07


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday that it has approved a 400 million US dollars 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, reports Xinhua.

The ADB said the program 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 Program, a full-cycle youth employment facilitation program that has become law with adequate government funding.

"Many young Filipinos today are anxious about their career prospects in a very competitive labour market. This programme will enhance public employment services to help their transition from school to work," said the Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade at ADB's Southeast Asia Regional Department Jose Antonio Tan.

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 Program, and introduce skills development schemes targeting specific sectors.

According to the ADB, the loan also supports labour policy reforms, such as the introduction of unemployment insurance as part of amendments to the Social Security Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act, which requires employers to comply with specific workplace standards.

"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."

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