Senators push for green jobs, youth entrepreneurship-A A +A
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
THE government should create more opportunities through employment or entrepreneurship, senators said Wednesday, after a survey showed that the number of jobless Filipinos reached 12.1 million in the last quarter of 2013.
Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said one of his proposed measures, the creation of Negosyo Centers which will support micro and small entrepreneurs, will help address the problem of unemployment in the country.
"Creating more opportunities to earn should rightfully be the main focus of government and the private sector if we are to ensure that the current phenomenal macro-economic growth is felt by our countrymen that need it the most," Aquino said in a text message.
The Philippine economy grew 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, resulting to a full year gross domestic product (GDP) of 7.2 percent, surpassing the official target of six to seven percent.
The economy grew despite the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda, which affected thousands of people in the Visayas region.
A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that despite the GDP growth, the unemployment rate continued to worsen as it rose to 27.5 percent, six percentage points higher than the previous quarter of 21.7 percent.
Senator Loren Legarda, a known advocate of environmental issues, suggested that the government promote sustainable development and disaster resilience to help address the lingering problem of joblessness.
"We need to be disaster resilient not only to protect lives and homes, but also to safeguard our schools, hospitals, malls, buildings, farms, plantations and factories, which all provide employment for Filipinos," she said.
Legarda said renewable energy projects can generate jobs which in turn could improve the country's employment statistics.
The senator further said that the Philippines should follow other nations in encouraging their citizens to look for green jobs in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, environmental information technology, and other careers that contribute to environmental preservation.
"All these efforts would complement our existing job generation strategies such as strengthened employment creation and facilitation by local governments, bringing in direct foreign investments to spur local labor demand, and promotion of self-employment, particularly on micro enterprise activities," said Legarda. (Sunnex)