Being chosen by 18,459,222 voters to represent them in the Senate is no easy task. By the time I was elected, I have already prepared myself to assume this huge responsibility to do my job well and fulfill my mandate to serve the people. I do not want to fail the Filipino people. I want to give them what they truly deserve and that is to ensure that they have decent jobs,
Popularly known as “TESDAMAN”, Senator Joel Villanueva has proven himself as a champion of labor rights and skills training through the programs he started in TESDA which generated around 9 million jobs. In his latest mandate to the people as a senator, he continues to do more as can be seen through his bills and other initiatives. He was also given the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, and the Committee on Youth.
Just a day after he took his oath as a newly-elected senator, Sen. Villanueva filed bills aimed at addressing the job-skills mismatch and improving the tech-voc sector. These measures include the Enterprise-based training Act (SB 208), Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) Act (SB 211), and Revised Apprenticeship Program Act (SB 213).
In his first privilege speech, he acknowledged the extent of job-skills mismatch in the country and proposed solutions to address the problem which recent surveys cited as one of the causes of youth unemployment.
The situation prompted the senator to file Senate Resolution No. 129 directing the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development to review the state of job-skills mismatch in the country.
Among his recommendations to resolve the issue are ...
If our people have relevant skills: they will have more choices; they will be right for the job; the pursuit of happiness can be real for them. Sama-sama po tayo sa paglikha ng mga batas para tuldukan na ang job-skills mismatch sa bansa at palawakin ang choices ng mga manggagawang Pilipino,
Sinabi po ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na kung may panukalang batas para mahinto ang ENDO, pipirmahan n’ya po ito kaagad. Kung gayon, kailangan lang po ay magkasundo ang lahat ng mga stakeholders sa lalong madaling panahon sa mga mekanismo para matigil ang pang-aabuso sa mga manggagawa, mapatigil ang ENDO, at sa kabilang banda, mapatatag ang ating mga negosyo at patuloy tayong makalikha ng trabaho
Senator Villanueva has also taken a strong stance against “endo” or the 555 scheme. As the Chairman of the Committee on Labor, he initiated a hearing to discuss the prevalent and abusive labor practices in contractualization. It was attended by top government officials from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), labor groups, members of the academe, and the private sector.
Recognizing the existence of more than 500,000 job order personnels in the government and more than 400,000 contractual workers in the private sector, the senator believes that more stringent laws must be passed and strictly implemented to ensure a decent and humane labor condition for our workers.
Consequently, the senator filed bills aimed at protecting employees from both the public and private sector. Among these measures are
that would give permanent appointment to all government casual/contractual employees with three years of continuous service,
which proposes amendments to the Labor Code such as the prohibition of labor-only contracting, disallowance of unfair labor practice of the contracting employer, limiting of contractual services to highly specialized fields, and regularization of project and seasonal employees for the duration of the project or season.
On October 13, Senator Villanueva concluded the inquiry on endo after three successful hearings. He assured the stakeholders of a legislation that will promote a balance between the efficiency of employers and the equity of workers. The senator also cited his recommendations on the proposed law addressing endo and ensuring security of tenure for workers.
Our workers are the lifeblood of our economy. They have been neglected for many years now. We have to ensure that we adopt a law that will regularize these workers and make certain that they will receive social benefits and protection. Our goal is to ensure that they receive what is due them.
Senator Villanueva’s focus on job-generation and advocacy on workers’ rights has not kept him from making a critical stance on important national issues.
Following the issuance of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order on Freedom of Information (FOI), the senator immediately urged the members of Congress to follow suit. He subsequently filed the FOI Act or An Act Promoting and Enforcing the Right of People to Information (SB 1014), a measure which he has long been pushing for ever since he was a Representative of CIBAC Partylist.
He also participated in a Senate hearing on Emergency Powers in which he urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to speed up its crafting of a traffic plan that will be the basis of the Chief Executive once he is given emergency powers to solve the tremendous traffic in Metro Manila. Along with this, he filed the Telecommuting Act (SB 1032) which proposes the possibility of work from home which may not only reduce traffic congestion but also promotes work-life balance and productivity.
Aside from these initiatives, Senator Villanueva has also expressed his support on the government’s war against illegal drugs during his participation in the hearing of Senate Committee on Justice on extrajudicial killings. However, the senator has also emphasized that the government’s intensity on its drug war must be coupled with the same pursuit in probing unjustified killings and to look into more viable solutions to address the drug problem.
The senator has further recognized the role of youth in keeping up with the government’s drive to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs. As such, Senator Villanueva filed the Youth Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Prevention Program (Y-DARE) Act which targets to educate the youth on the personal and social consequences of substance abuse and drug dependency.
Moreover, Senator Villanueva has also been proactive in addressing the needs of his hometown in Bocaue, Bulacan. Recently, he led the turnover ceremony of dredging equipment that will mitigate the decades-long flood problem in the province.
“I have long been supportive of the government’s war on illegal drugs. However, we must recognize that there is no quick fix solution to our drug problem. Drug dependence is a disease fueled by poverty and lack of opportunities. Fixing our economy will contribute more to addressing the drug problem,”
Apart from measures seeking for the improvement of the labor sector, Senator Villanueva has also filed a wide range of bills. Among these are:
No Garage, No Car Act
No Garage, No Car Act
Pedestrian Safety Act
FOI of the mining sector
Youth Suicide Prevention Act
FOI of the mining sector
Other labor-centered bills which the senator hopes to pass into law are the Parental Leave Act (SB 1064), Labor Empowerment Assistance Program (LEAP) Act (SB 1130), and Financial Literacy for Workers Act (SB 210).
Sa simpleng hangarin ng pagtulong sa kapwa ay nabuo ang mga pangarap na 'di mo a-akalaing posible. Mayo ng 2016 nang nagtiwala at binoto ng mamamayang Pilipino na hayok sa pagbabago si Joel. Umabot pa nga ng top 1 sa ratings noong botohan.
Ama, basketball player at senador — ilan lang ito sa mga papel na ginagampanan ni Joel mula pag-gising hanggang sa pag-tulog. Mahirap at challenging ang responsibildad pero 'di siya titigil hanggang makamit ang mga ipinanagako. Totoo, mahirap maging senador, pero masarap ang tumulong.
Paano nga ba nagsimula ang lahat?
Lumaki siya sa lalawigan ng Bocaue, Bulacan noong August 2, 1975. Pangalawa siya sa apat na magkakapatid, at anak ng pastor na si Eddie Villanueva at Adoracion Villanueva. Nag-aral at kumuha siya ng Commerce Degree, Major in Economics sa UST. Hindi siya nakuntento at nagpatuloy pang mag-aral ng Business Administration sa Harvard University sa United States mula 1996-1998.
Bumalik, na-in love at kinasal sa may bahay niya ngayong si Gladys. Hindi naging madali ang storya nila— marami rin pagsubok ang nagdaan, isa na siguro dun ang minsang hirap nila sa pagkakaanak. Pero sa awa ng Diyos, dumating din ang kanilang miracle baby. Sa ngayon, may dalawa na silang anak na sina Jaden at Gwyn.
Sa naging paglagi niya sa UST, hindi lang siya basta estudyante—naging parte rin siya ng varsity basketball team na UST Growling Tigers at napanalunan ang UAAP Season 56-57 noong 1994-1995. Dahil sa potensyal na nakita ng iba sa kanya, sumali siya sa Philippines National Basketball Team na lumaban sa Taiwan at Malaysia noong 1995.
Habang nasa office of the director general ng TESDA, kumuha na rin siya ng kurso sa Advanced Food and Beverage Services at ‘di kalaunan, nagkaroon ng skills na pasok pang-barista.
Noong 2001, nagsimula ang kwento niya bilang isang pulitiko. Sa edad na 26, siya ang naging pinakabatang miyembro ng House of Rep. noong 2001 sa ilalim ng Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption Partylist (CIBAC). Dito pa lang, nakikibaka na sila para sa pantay-pantay na oportunidad para sa mamamayang Pilipino—karapatan man ‘yan o trabaho.
Bukod pa rito, naging parte rin siya ng 12th, 13th, at 14th congresses na tumagal nang 2001-2010.
2010, bumalik siya sa TESDA pero hindi na bilang estudyante, kundi isa nang TESDA Chief. Sinimulan niya ang trabaho sa pag a-audit nang mga utang, at pag-alam kung bakit nga ba may utang. Sa mga panahong ‘yan, isa lang ang nasa isip niya: Paano papaunlarin ang kabataang Pilipino?
Isa sa kanyang mga proyekto sa TESDA ay ang “Shoot for your Dream Program,” kung saan napasok niya ang Basketball Association, dubbed as Team Trabaho, para makagawa ng awareness campaign laban sa mga misconceptions sa tech-voc. Sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Joel, ang TESDA Central Office, pati na rin ang 17 pang regional offices at 81 provincial offices ay nagkaroon ng ISO Certifications grant.
Iniwan niya ang TESDA na may magandang plano para masimulan nang susunod na hahawak nito. Nagpatuloy siya para pumasok sa isang karera kung sa’n alam niyang mas marami siyang matutulungan; ang senado.
Nagsimula sa TESDA na tumulong sa libu-libong estudyante, at ngayon nagpapatuloy sa senado para tumulong sa milyun-milyong Pilipino. Gumraduate siya kasama ng mga scholars, at ngayon, kasama pa rin nila, pero bilang empleyado na.
Para kay Joel, simple lang naman ‘to-- parang basketball. Magpasa ng bills, at ipanalo ang mga Pilipino.
Trabaho? Sa panahon ngayon, ‘di na uso ang walk-in! ‘di na rin uso ang komplikado!
Ipaglalapit natin ang mga employers at empleyado. Paano? Abangan!
Alamin ang mga isinusulong na batas ni Joel sa senado! Para sayo, at sa lahat ng mamamayang Pilipino!