“The JobStart Philippines Act is now a law,” Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay happily announced to the JobStart Philippines Program-implementing Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Offices and Public Employment Services (PESO) representatives who were participating in the Orientation on JobStart Funding Disbursement and Utilization Guidelines, 30 June 2016, at the Hotel Jen in Pasay City.
Having been newly enacted, the law has institutionalized the nationwide implementation of the JobStart, a program designed to enhance the employability of the youth by giving them job search assistance, free technical and life skills trainings, placement in internships, and job referrals.
JobStart started as a pilot program in 2014 covering the PESOs of Quezon, Taguig, San Fernando (Pampanga), and Gen. Trias (Cavite) Cities. With the DOLE as the executing agency, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided technical assistance to the program implementation; the Government of Canada, through its embassy in Manila, on the other hand, with financial assistance.
Still with support coming from the ADB and Government of Canada, and with the approved 2015 budget allocation by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the program was cascaded by DOLE nationwide in a phase-in approach. Ten (10) additional PESOs—Bohol Province, and Caloocan, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Puerto Princesa, Cebu, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Tagum Cities—are implementing the program this year.
“It was more than a year in the making. It was ceaseless lobbying. The DOLE family thanks Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara and Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City) for believing in the program, and thus, sponsoring the Act’s respective House and Senate Bill versions,” shared the Director.
The JobStart Act was passed by the Senate of the Philippines as Senate Bill No. 3091 on 1 February 2016 and adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 6315 on 23 May 2016. Representatives Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (DIWA Party List), Florencio T. Flores, Jr. (2nd District, Bukidnon) and Deogracias B. Ramos, Jr. (2nd District, Sorsogon) were co-authors of the House Bill. On the other hand, Senator Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, and Teofisto “TG” Guingona Jr. were co-authors of the Senate Bill.
Section 24 of act authorizes the DOLE Secretary, in coordination with concerned agencies, to put the law into effect by formulating its necessary implementing rules and regulation (IRR) within 90 days.
Republic Act No. 10869, An Act Institutionalizing the Nationwide Implementation of the JobStart Philippines Program and Providing Funds Therefor, otherwise known as the JobStart Philippines Act, was signed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III on his last full day in office, 29 June 2016. The Act is also the last to have been approved by the president in his term, before turning over his seat to the new administration by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.