Angara: ‘Country’s economic gains must lead to creation of more high-paying jobs’

Published June 1, 2018, 8:13 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Friday echoed the World Bank’s call for the government to provide more high-paying jobs to reduce the poverty rate in the country faster.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara

Angara noted that making the country’s economic growth inclusive to improve the lives of poor Filipinos has been quite a challenge.

“The country’s economic gains must lead to the creation of more high-paying jobs,” Angara said.

“Jobs are still the key to solving poverty woes. If one has sufficient pay, permanent and decent job, I’m very sure that Filipino families’ lives will improve,” said Angara, vice chairman of the labor committee.

In its recent report on the poverty assessment of the Philippines, the World Bank reported that although the country’s economy continues to grow, poverty remains high and the pace of poverty reduction has been slow.

In its latest data, the WB showed that in 2015, some 22 million Filipinos, or more than one-fifth of the population, still live below the national poverty line.

To this, Angara lauded the Duterte administration’s initiatives in providing job opportunities for Filipinos.

The senator pointed out that in the latest labor force survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there was a decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.6 percent last year to 5.3 percent this year.

But the quality of jobs, however, deteriorated as the underemployment rate—or the proportion of those already working but still looking for more work or longer working hours—increased from 16.3 percent to 18 percent.

Thus, he said the PESO or the Public Employment Service Offices, that are under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in every municipality or city, should be at the forefront in addressing jobs-kills mismatch and in ensuring that Filipinos have access to well-paying and stable jobs.

“PESO serves as a venue for Filipinos to explore employment opportunities, and we made sure under the law that every province, city and municipality in the country has its own PESO,” said Angara, author of Republic Act 10691 or the law strengthening the PESO.