By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is targeting the creation of 1.8 million jobs annually from the implementation of the administration’s massive infrastructure program.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said they intend to carry out 24-hour construction of various infrastructure projects under “Build Build Build” to generate more direct and indirect jobs for Filipinos.
“Sa kabuuan tinitingnan ho namin na sa unang taon, puwede tayong magkaroon ng 1.8 million direct and indirect employment [In total, we can create 1.8 million direct and indirect employment in the first year],” Tugade said during a Palace press briefing.
“Mayroong isang assumption o asumpsiyon ang ating economic cluster na kung saan para iyong mga project makumpleto within the term of the President, kailangan hindi one day shift tayo, Ma’am. Kailangan 24 hours of 8 hours shift – so tatlo [The economic cluster has made an assumption that in order to complete the projects within the term of the President, we should not just implement a one-day shift. We must work 24 hours or a three eight-hour shifts],” he said.
“In other words kung may proyekto ka at nangangailangan ka ng masonry, ang mason na kailangan mo hindi isa, tatlo [In other words if you have a project that needs masonry, you will need three masons, not just one],” he added.
Tugade said there would be additional employment opportunities for Filipinos once the infrastructure projects are built. He noted that additional workers would be needed in operations of the airports, seaports, railways, and other infrastructure projects.
As of April 2018, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the country’s robust economy has created 625,000 jobs. The biggest job generating industry is the construction sector with 468,000 jobs.
Bello, in the same Palace news conference, said the administration remains committed “to make the wish of the President in generating 1.8 million jobs a year a reality.”
Under Build, Build, Build program, the government laid down 75 infrastructure projects, including airports, seaports, roads and bridges, to improve the country’s transportation network and spur economic activities.
President Duterte recently ordered authorities to expedite the completion of the infrastructure programs to enhance connectivity and mobility around the country.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar welcomed the President’s latest push for the infrastructure program, saying they are committed to work “24/7” for the swift implementation of these projects.
“We will continue to improve and I think that, you know it’s good that the President is keeping the pressure on us to continue perform, dahil napakaimportante po ng ating ‘Build, Build, Build’ program [because the Build, Build, Build program is very important],” he said in the press conference.