Lawmakers urge gov’t to accelerate spending to help create more jobs
Lawmakers from the Minority bloc asked the government on Wednesday to speed up spending to create more jobs, after a recent survey showed that self-rated unemployment rate increased from 19.7 percent to 22 pecent.
The legislators said government expenditures can directly affect employment rate as projects can generate several jobs.
“The rising unemployment has often been correlated with government expenditures. As government spends its money through its programs and projects, especially in infrastructure, more jobs become available since more workers are needed to implement such projects,” the Minority bloc said in a statement read by Minority Floor Leader Rep. Danilo Suarez in a press briefing.
“Moreover, government expenditure also generates and encourages businesses, thereby fueling the country’s economic growth,” the lawmakers added.
However, the legislators claimed that the slow pace of projects has contributed to the spike in the unemployment rate.
“The slow disbursement of government agencies must be addressed. In August, year-to-date spending was at P2.19 trillion out of the P3.767 trillion national budget. This merely amounts to almost 60 percent of the budget with only four months left to the year,” the lawmakers explained.
Previous reports said a survey by the Social Weather Stations showed that there are now 9.8 million jobless adult Filipinos for the third quarter of 2018. The previous number was set at 8.6 million for the second quarter.
Suarez and the other lawmakers asked the government agencies to “accelerate” their spending, especially as the holiday season is near. They have singled out big infrastructure programs under the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
“The Minority calls on the different agencies, especially the Department of Budget and Management, to accelerate expenditure and implementation of government projects,” they noted.
“We urge the heads of the agencies to strictly monitor the accomplishments of their programs, particularly the big-ticket infrastructure projects, and hasten its completion, especially that we shall be adopting a cash-based budgeting scheme this 2019. This should generate more jobs and increase household income,” they added.
The lawmakers also suggested that the government can put up more outlets of the Small-Town Lottery (STL) to create opportunities for people.
“The Minority has also proposed one potential solution: nationalize the Small Town Lottery (STL) in order to create employment for those who have difficulty finding gainful employment due to factors such as age, lack of education, or physical disabilities,” Suarez said.
“I am pleased to hear that the STL Program of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has produced more or less 270,000 organic STL employees this year. We are optimistic that employment in this area will be expanded,” he added. /ee
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