Gov’t's concerted efforts to alleviate Unemployment
by FFE PH News Staff
Days after a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed that there are 12.1m unemployed adult Filipinos as of December last year, President Aquino has asked his Cabinet to create more jobs.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma announced that the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday tackled job creation and that the President asked the Cabinet to ‘Intensify programmes on job creation and social protection in the most needy and vulnerable provinces.’
The Cabinet’s human development and poverty reduction cluster (HDPRC) has already mapped out provinces with the poorest households as the president plans to prioritise their employment needs first. Three departments have been given the task of improving the economic opportunities in the poorest provinces:
- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been charged to increase the country’s competitiveness in sectors where jobs need to be filled up
- The Department of Labour and Employment (Dole) has been charged with job matching and placement
- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) has been charged to continue with its scholarship programmes
Those under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilya Programme will also be given expanded livelihood, health and educational opportunities.
Aside from the Cabinet’s assignments, the House of Representatives also sought to reform current laws on foreign investments to allow more investors to enter the Philippine market. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has just filed a resolution that seeks to insert an ‘unless otherwise provided for by law’ phrase in the law that limits foreign investor ownership of business to 40%.
The inclusion of the phrase would mean that foreign investors may have greater access to business ownership in the Philippines, a move that could generate more jobs in the country.
The Makati Business Club supported the move by the lower house. Club chair Ramon Del Rosario Junior said ‘The message we would like to convey here is that we really need to put everything we’ve got together to try and address this issue, including things like looking at our Constitution and what are the restrictions there that impede the inflow of our investments into our economy.’
Henry Schumacher, vice president of the European Chamber of Commerce, said removing restrictions to foreign direct investments ‘makes sense’ at this point and supported the resolution.
Belmonte said the resolution will be up for plenary debate before April.