Palace optimistic despite survey showing rise in jobless Filipinos
By Azer Parrocha
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Despite survey results that adult joblessness increased to 23.9 percent percent, Malacañang on Tuesday, Labor Day, remained optimisic that the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program would help generate more jobs for Filipinos.
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Labor Day showed that the joblessness rate in the country soared to 23.9 percent, which is 8.2 percent higher than last year’s 15.7 percent.
The survey revealed that the number of jobless adults rose to an estimated 10.9 million in March 2018 from 7.2 million in December 2017.
This was the second-highest mark under the current administration since the 25.1 percent recorded in December 2016, the survey said.
“We remain optimistic that with the implementation of our Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Plan, we would be able to generate more job opportunities to many of our countrymen,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Roque said the survey was conducted from March 23 to 27 which is a time “when students just finished their last semester in college and are expected to look for jobs”, hich contributed to an increase in adult joblessness.
He also noted that December “is a month where there are many seasonal jobs available because of the Christmas season.”
Roque, meanwhile, underscored that SWS has three definitions for adult joblessness namely those who voluntarily left their old jobs; those who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control, termed retrenched; and those seeking jobs for the first time.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier signed an executive order on contractualization particularly prohibiting the illegal contracting and sub-contracting of workers in Cebu City.
The President assured the government is working to bring jobseekers and entrepreneurs closer together to open employment and business opportunities to Filipino workers.
“We will provide various Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan Job and Business Fair sites nationwide, where more than 140,000 job vacancies from private employers will be made available,” Duterte said.
He also announced that close to 8,000 vacancies in government agencies are open for qualified applicants.
He said the labor department will also award livelihood projects worth PHP93 million to more than 10,000 informal sector workers.
The trade department, meanwhile, will give training and other assistance through Negosyo Centers.
The government will also organize Diskwento Caravans to workers to provide them with basic commodities at discounted prices. (PNA)