ADB to help Philippines boost youth employment amid pandemic

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday it has approved a 400-million-dollar loan to the Philippines to boost government efforts to help young Filipinos find quality jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial assistance will assist the Department of Labour and Employment to improve fob facilitation capacity of public employment services offices nationwide, workplace skills development and other labour market programmes.

“The pandemic has led to job losses in many sectors, especially among young people,” said Jose Antonio Tan III, an ADB director for public management, financial sector and trade in South-East Asia. “There is an urgent need to help young Filipinos find work through innovative labor market programs and skills development initiatives.”

“This new loan reflects our long-term commitment to ensuring that young people find jobs to improve their lives and create a wider employment base for post-pandemic economic growth,” Tan added.

According to estimates by the Manila-based ADB and the International Labour Organization, unemployment among young Filipinos rose to nearly 20 per cent due to the pandemic, and over 1 million were jobless.

“This loan will help young job seekers, especially women, access training opportunities and enhance their skills development,” said Stephen Schuster, an ADB financial sector specialist.

“It will strengthen labor market policies and provide assistance to returning Filipino workers who lost jobs overseas because of the pandemic through group livelihood and entrepreneurship programs,” he added.

The new loan would build on two previous aid packages that led to the operation of public employment services offices and the establishment of a programme that provided skills training and paid internships to over 20,000 young Filipinos since then, the ADB said.

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