Generate more jobs through ‘Build, Build, Build,’ Escudero urges gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — The government should create more jobs through the “Build, Build, Build” program to aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, senatorial aspirant and Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero said on Sunday.
“Even as we continue to battle COVID-19, we are marching forward with the full intent of reenergizing the economy, boosting consumption and promoting investment. The government is the country’s biggest employer, and it can find ways to create more jobs this year through its ‘Build, Build, Build’ campaign,” he said in a statement.
“Perhaps they can include military and supply infrastructures in the Ayungin Shoal among the ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects this year. That would be hitting two birds with one stone: giving more Filipinos jobs and asserting our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea,” continued Escudero.
Based on a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report in January, the number of unemployed Filipinos decreased from 3.50 million in October 2021 to 3.16 million in November 2021.
The PSA in a separate report said that the Philippine poverty rate rose to 23.7 percent in the first half of 2021, which means 26.14 million Filipinos were living below the poverty threshold.
“We cannot reverse the worsening poverty without creating jobs or livelihood opportunities for the millions who have lost their work. The government’s investment in infrastructure must have a return in terms of employment so that people will once again have money for consumption, which will help the country because the Philippines is primarily a consumer economy,” said Escudero.
“The next president and the next members of Congress will be handed the gargantuan task of leading the country in the very long, very arduous path of recovery. It is imperative that the legislators who are in charge of reviewing and approving the budget also work to ensure that every peso of the P5.04 trillion for 2022 contributes to our economic recovery,” the governor added.
The administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program received P1.18 trillion out of the P5.04-trillion 2022 national budget.
Escudero said that the amount is equivalent to 5.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
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