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DoLE backs jobless insurance scheme

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it supports a bill creating an unemployment insurance program for displaced workers.

At a House hearing Wednesday, Labor Undersecretary Ana C. Dione said the department supports the unnumbered substitute bill that will establish a National Unemployment Insurance Program. However, she added that requirements for workers to qualify for unemployment insurance should be less stringent.

“We support the bill but we have a suggestion on eligibility to reduce the requirements,” she said, adding that retrenched persons need to more easily avail of the benefits.

Ms. Dione said the current bill requires workers to undergo job counselling provided by the program or its accredited partners in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, author of the bill, said: “I agree 100% maybe it is onerous (what the employee) has undergone.” She added that applicants might instead provide proof that they have started job counselling or produce a certificate stating that they are willing to undergo counselling.

The House Subcommittee on Employment on Wednesday approved the substitute bill, subject to style and amendments. It will next face the subcommittee’s mother panel, the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

The proposed unemployment insurance program aims to provide lost-income protection for workers involuntarily separated from employment. The bill also proposes to create the Philippine Job Insurance Corp. , which will oversee the viability and implementation of the program. — Gillian M. Cortez

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