Job generation and growth

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Thursday, January 23, 2014


IT'S GOOD that the government has vowed to step up job generation programs, after the International Labor Organization has expressed "concern over the country's unemployment situation despite its reported economic growth".

Listen to Secretary Herminio Coloma, of the Presidential Communications
Office as he explains the government move: "The government places a very high priority on employment creation. This is one of the salient aspects of our economic program that seeks to attain inclusive growth".

And here's the boast: the government aims to provide at least one million jobs a year under the Philippine Development Program.

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How will the government realize this very ambitious goal? The challenge falls squarely on the shoulders of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which should explore massive ways to achieve the ambitious goal of creating at least one million jobs a year. The agriculture sector can hardly contribute to this goal.

How then can the goal be achieved? The manufacturing sector may pitch in to contribute a lot to narrow the gap.

International Labor Organization Director General Guy Ryder has a serious observation on the Philippines' unemployment rate: "Despite robust economic growth in excess of 6.8 percent in the last two years, job growth has been subdued and the unemployment rate has remained at around 7 percent throughout 2012 and 2013."

The Philippine should take a hard look and serious notice of the international labor body's observation and find ways fast to address the issues.

* * *

On the local front, the Clark Freeport Zone has consistently opened avenues for meaningful employment, with its investors significantly infusing new investments and expanding their operations inside the Freeport Zone. Undoubtedly, it is a major employer.

Trust International Paper Corporation and its locators contribute immensely to lessen unemployment.

Peso Mabalacat conducts regularly interviews by representatives of local employers like Romac, SaveMore and Resource Services Inc. It also will spearhead trainings in slaughtering, welding and plumbing as well as computer literacy, call center and basic computer hardware servicing.

* * *

Caragan Festival in February. After a hiatus, Caragan Festival cultural activity spearheaded by the master impresario Jun Magbalot will enter the scene with a blast. Meeting with all the stakeholders, Jun laid out the plans for the grand celebration with February being the festive month of Mabalacat.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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