Legarda: Boost Self-Employment, Engage in “Green Jobs” to Address Joblessness

June 12, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today called for a more vigorous promotion of self-employment to address unemployment in the country, which rose to 7.5% in April amid a 7.8% growth in the economy during the first quarter of 2013.

“Viable employment alternatives such as self-employment, particularly on micro enterprise activities, will strongly complement the overall provision of jobs for the growing workforce that is so dependent on wage employment,” she said.

Legarda called for strengthened promotion and better implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Law (RA 9501) and Barangay Kabuhayan Law (RA 9509), which she both authored.

She said that the MSME Law was passed to help build up micro, small and medium enterprises nationwide and increase the incomes of underprivileged families, especially those in the provinces.

“The MSME law helps facilitate the access of micro, small and medium enterprises to sources of funds and assure them access to a fair share of government contracts and related incentives and preferences. It requires lending institutions to set aside at least 8 percent of their loan portfolio for micro and small enterprises,” Legarda explained.

“It sees to it that micro and small enterprises availing of financing programs and incentives are not required to undergo burdensome collateral requirements that small enterprises find difficulty in complying with,” she added.

On the other hand, the Barangay Kabuhayan Law seeks to empower would-be micro entrepreneurs through free skills trainings. It mandates the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to offer free livelihood and skills training programs to jobless and out-of-school youths and parents.

“The law ensures that all livelihood and skills training offered by government are properly coordinated and implemented at the municipal level, especially 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities, giving priority to those in need,” Legarda said.

The Senator also pushed for the promotion of green jobs and green skills in the country, noting that other nations encourage their citizens to engage in management in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, environmental information technology, and other careers that contribute to environmental preservation.

She added that TESDA should continue to conduct green skills training and provide livelihood opportunities to poor communities using recycled materials to promote a cleaner environment.

“By promoting green skills, we are creating jobs for our people while making good use of recyclable waste materials, helping solve our garbage problems, and protecting our environment,” said Legarda.