A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Friday said investments in infrastructure are crucial not only for economic growth but also for job creation in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento said the government must find ways to increase job opportunities, even in the provinces, as the number of returning overseas Filipino workers and unemployed individuals grows amid the health crisis.
Sarmiento said House Bill 7571 proposes a mechanism wherein local infrastructure investment will directly translate into job generation.
It mandates that 10 percent of the project cost for local infrastructure projects will be allotted for labor-intensive items of work designated as “Covid-19 Items of Work”.
The labor-intensive approach is a temporary measure to alleviate displaced individuals who currently have no source of income.
“Through this bill, those who were temporarily displaced through the pandemic will be able to find work within the vicinity of their current residence,” Sarmiento said in the bill’s explanatory note.
It shall involve minor construction work related to the infrastructure project composed of pure labor tasks that require minimal skill.
The Covid-19 Items of Work include the construction of footpaths, construction/rehabilitation/ improvement of sanitation facilities, construction/ rehabilitation of community facilities, installation of small-scale water supply system of schools, among others.
It should not involve items of work which necessitates the use of equipment.
“The bill aims to address two pressing concerns. First, it will address unemployment. Second, it will benefit the community as the infrastructure projects are communal,” Sarmiento added.
The Department of Public Works and Highways shall serve as the primary planning, implementing, and monitoring body of the program.
Source: Philippines News Agency