The Duterte administration is makings strides in the effort to address unemployment in the country, House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Davao City Congressman Karlo Nograles said.
Nograles pointed to the results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) January 2018 Labor Force Survey (LFS), wherein the unemployment rate fell from 6.6 percent during the same period last year to 5.3 percent.
“The reduction of 1.3 percent can’t be underestimated as it represents thousands of Filipinos who now have the ability to put food on the table,” said Nograles, a key legislative ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The lawmaker noted that the January 2018 unemployment rate is even lower than the 5.8 percent posted by the same survey in January 2016, which covered the last full year (2015) of Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
The transition between the Aquino and Duterte administrations took place in mid-2016.
“By this alone, one can argue that the Duterte government had the better remedy for unemployment when left to its own devices. As such we expect the unemployment rate to drop further as this administration plows on toward its aims of inclusive growth and development,” said Nograles, a presumptive member of the administration’s Senate slate.
He said that the government’s P8-trillion “Build, Build, Build” program is a surefire job creator since it is focused on the implementation of multiple big tickets infrastructure projects for the rest Duterte’s tenure. The initiative, which is billed to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure,” began in 2017.
The three-term Davao congressman says the effects of Build, Build, Build is already reflected in the 2018 LFS results, with generated net employment reaching 2.4 million.
“There are 719,000 new jobs recorded for the industry sector, mostly from construction with 424,000 and manufacturing with 269,000,” Nograles noted.
Meanwhile, the agriculture and services sectors alone accounted for over 1.6 million new jobs (841,000 and 847,000, respectively).
The total number of employed Filipinos as of January this year was 41.7 million, compared to just 39.3 million in January 2017, the latest LFS result bared. “This is undeniable proof that President Duterte is landing jobs for his countrymen,” Nograles said.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) had earlier credited the administration’s aggressive jobs fair campaign and livelihood assistance measures for the improvements in the employment situation. (House of Representatives)