'Hanapbuhay para sa lahat': Robredo bares ₱192-B jobs plan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 11) — Vice President Leni Robredo unveiled her five-point "Hanapbuhay Para sa Lahat" plan, detailing her ambitious agenda to revive industries and fight for workers' rights, once elected as the country's next president.

Her first order of business: restore trust in government.

"Bubuwagin natin ang mga sindikatong ginawa nang negosyo ang gobyerno. Gagawin nating patas ang merkado at sisiguruhing may isang salita ang pamahalaan (We will dismantle syndicates who have turned the government into their business. We will ensure a fair market and that the government will be true to its word)," Robredo said a press conference Friday.

To do that, Robredo said the Philippine Competition Commission should be strengthened to end monopoly and unfair business practices, and the Ease of Doing Business Act should be efficiently implemented.

Reviving industries

Under her leadership, four industries will be prioritized: maritime, climate, technology, and manufacturing.

Why maritime? Robredo said one-fourth of seafarers in the world are Filipinos - contributing six percent to the country's economy. She added that there's a need to create a national policy to boost the sector.

The presidential aspirant wants to invest heavily in green business - covering e-transport, climate-smart agricultural infrastructure, and clean energy.

"Kung magshi-shift tayo to renewables from fossil fuel, hindi 'yun puwedeng bigla dahil, dahil magsa-suffer 'yung supply natin. Pero meron na ba tayong programa, alin ba 'yung unang, unang ire-retire natin? Ano ba 'yung phasing ng pag-retire? So 'yun importante 'yun," Robredo said.

[Translation: If we will shift to renewables from fossil fuel, it should not be sudden because our supply will suffer. But do we have programs? And which one will we retire first? What is the phasing to retire? That is important.]

Discrimination in the workplace

The Vice President also vowed to end discrimination against workers.

"Kahit may edad ka na, anuman ang natapos mo, anumang kasarian mo, kung handa kang magbanat ng buto, karapatan mong maghanapbuhay (Regardless of age, educational attainment, and gender, if you're ready to work, it is your right to earn a living)," she pointed out.

There's a need to implement the Anti-Age Discrimination Act, she said, but would still push for a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill.

Supporting small businesses

Passing the National Food Security bill, Robredo explained, will allow government to buy from small farmers and fisherfolk for feeding programs.

She promised to link businesses to wider markets, especially in agriculture and tourism.

"Papanday tayo ng mas makabagong patakarang mas angkop sa digital economy. Aalisin natin ang red tape para maging mas madali ang pagnenegosyo. (We will draft new policies that are suitable for the digital economy. We will remove red tape to ease the act of doing business)," she said.

Saving workers

Robredo plans to introduce quality retraining and skills-matching program.

"Ang layunin natin: mga Pilipinong mas analitikal, maliksi ang pag-iisip, malikhain, malawak ang kaalaman, at nakakasabay sa anumang larangan. (Our objective is to make Filipinos more analytical, think faster, creative, have wide knowledge, and can compete in any fields)," she said. To achieve this, she said, the education system must be reformed.

Robredo also said she wants to create a Public Employment Program that would guarantee jobs to around two million Filipinos. At the same time, there must an Unemployment Insurance Program that will be ready to help displaced workers.

The price tag of her jobs plans? The presidential hopeful said she has identified budget sources initially amounting to ₱192 billion pesos.

"Naka-base sa current budget nila. So, ito, it's not as if merong bagong pera na ilalaan, pero nag i-identify lang tayo kung paano natin gagamitin 'yung perang meron tayo sa mga programang mas makakadulot nang mas malaking ginhawa sa ating mamamayan," she explained.

[Translation: They are based on their current budget. This program will not allocate new funds, but we will identify how we will spend our money to programs that will give greater convenience to our citizens.]