Jobs, Jobs, Jobs to compliment ‘Build, Build, Build’



Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

In his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, President Rodrigo Duterte envisioned the reduction of poverty from 21.6% in 2015 to 13%-15% by 2022. Central to this agenda is the acceleration of infrastructure and the development of industries across the archipelago that that will yield robust growth, create jobs and uplift the lives of Filipinos.

The 2017 - 2022 Philippine Development Plan Strategic Framework envisions growth in Gross Domestic Product to strengthen at 7 to 8% and unemployment to decline from 5.5% to 3 to 5% in 2022.

Infrastructure is among the top priorities of this Administration with public spending on infrastructure projects targeted to reach 8-9 trillion pesos from 2017-2022.

According to Department of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, a total of 2 million jobs will be generated by the Duterte Administration’s infrastructure program—the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) this year, as the government moves to synergize its flagship program with “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”, the country’s employment generation drive.

As of date, DPWH projects has noted employment of at least 175,000 Filipinos.

The Labor Force Survey conducted by Philippine Statistics Authority last January 2018 noted increased employment in all sectors, highest of which is in the industry sector, which is pegged at 10.5% or 719,000 jobs. The net employment was mainly attributed to the increased availability of construction and manufacturing jobs.

According to National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia, the employment rate in January 2018 is estimated at 94.7 percent or about 41.8 million Filipinos employed. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) also increased by 1.5 ppts, rising to 62.2 percent in January 2018. Furthermore, female LFPR bounced back to 47.5 percent or a 2.3 ppts increase from 45.2 percent in January 2017.

Notably, the unemployment rate dropped further to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate recorded for all January rounds of the LFS in the past decade.

This week, the US News & World Report named the Philippines as the “Best Country to Invest In” for its 2018 Best Countries Report after it scored the highest on eight equally weighted country attributes: corruption, dynamism, economic stability, entrepreneurship, favorable tax environment, innovation, skilled labor force, and technological expertise.

The report cited the country’s increased foreign direct investments, which already exceeded annual target based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Data, its young and vibrant labour force, and its strong position in regional production networks.