Palace on ‘record-high’ unemployment: Saddened but not surprised
MANILA, Philippines — While it was saddened over the “record-high” unemployment rate in April, Malacañang said Friday it was not surprising given the effect brought by the lockdown measures in Luzon.
The unemployment rate climbed to 17.7 percent in April equivalent to 7.3 million Filipino workers, National statistician Claire Dennis Mapa reported, citing preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) labor force survey.
“We are saddened – albeit unsurprised – by the April 2020 unemployment rate released by the Philippine Statistics Authority which registered at 17.7%,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“This is an obvious effect of the economic shutdown when the entire Luzon area was in an enhanced community quarantine where most businesses were closed and many people were out of work and stayed at home,” he added.
The entire Luzon was placed under strict quarantine measures mid-March, forcing non-essential businesses to shutter. The lockdown in most areas in the country was eased starting June.
Roque said priority policies and strategies for production sectors including agriculture and fishery, industry, services and tourism “to enable the economy to recover and transition to the new normal” are already underway.
“A resiliency program, such as but not limited to active labor market programs, job matching and skills upgrading, is likewise being prepared to help insulate our people from future similar crises,” he added.
“Our nation is composed of resilient and hardworking people and we will stand united to weather this health crisis, and together, we will heal and recover as one,” Roque further said.
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