IMEE: NOW WE NEED A JOB RECOVERY VACCINE
Senator Imee Marcos has warned that millions of Filipinos will remain jobless if the government fails to craft a national policy for job recovery by the time Covid-19 vaccines are approved for public use.
“The news of the Covid-19 vaccines is the best Christmas gift ever. Now, how about jobs and the economy?” Marcos asked.
“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,” Marcos added.
Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, said that the impasse in formulating a policy on job creation surfaced during recent hearings on the 2021 national budget, when the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) “passed the buck” to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Marcos added that the government has been “stuck with short-term, band-aid solutions” to unemployment, such as DOLE’s job fairs and the TUPAD, CAMP, and cash-for-work programs.
“These hardly make a national policy to kick-start job creation,” Marcos pointed out.
The DOLE has announced that some 21,000 jobs here and abroad are up for grabs this week, as it celebrates its 87th founding anniversary starting Tuesday.
However, Marcos said that the job vacancies make up less than 1% of the 3.8 million needed for Filipinos who are out of work.
The unemployment number equals 8.7% 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.
Although the latest jobless rate was lower than what was recorded in April, Marcos emphasized that it “still does not represent the norm,” citing that unemployment was only at 4.6% 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,” Marcos added.
“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,” Marcos also said.