'Stuck with band-aid solutions': Gov't urged to craft nat'l policy for job recovery | Inquirer News

‘Stuck with band-aid solutions’: Gov’t urged to craft nat’l policy for job recovery

/ 04:23 PM December 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday warned that millions of Filipinos would remain jobless if the government fails to create a national policy that would spur job recovery.

“The news of the COVID-19 vaccines is the best Christmas gift ever. Now, how about jobs and the economy?” Marcos said in a statement.


“We have already been warned that the health crisis would end long before economies will recover. Who then is researching and formulating the job recovery vaccine? Millions of Filipinos, now unemployed and bankrupt through no fault of their own, desperately need that jab in the economy’s arm – but no one seems to be in charge,” she added.

Marcos issued the call after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently reported that around 3.8 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and above are unemployed as of October this year.


According to the PSA, this is equivalent to an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in October, which is slightly lower than the 10 percent recorded in July and 17.6 percent in April this year.

Marcos, chair of the Senate economic affairs committee, said the government has been “stuck with short-term, band-aid solutions” to unemployment, such as job fairs and financial assistance and cash-for-work programs under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“These hardly make a national policy to kick-start job creation,” Marcos pointed out.

She noted that while DOLE announced that some 21,000 jobs here and abroad are up for grabs in its anniversary fair this week, Marcos said these vacancies only make up less than 1 percent of the 3.8 million needed for Filipinos who are currently out of work.

She noted that the unemployment number equals 8.7 percent of the 43.6 million workers and jobseekers aged 15 years and above recorded in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s third-quarter Labor Force Survey.

She said that although the latest unemployment rate was lower than what was recorded in April, Marcos stressed that it “still does not represent the norm,” citing that unemployment was only at 4.6 percent in the same third-quarter period in 2019.

“Likewise, in good times and bad times, underemployment in the Philippines remains double digit at 14.4% for Q3, compared to 12.8% for the same period in 2019,” she said.

“A before-COVID or BC attitude won’t solve the country’s high unemployment. The government needs to level up from its BC work programs,” she added.


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