Full gov't response to unemployment sought

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition on Monday called for a full government response to the escalating unemployment problem in the country.


The labor coalition issued the call as adult joblessness hit 45.5 percent according to  the recent Social Weather Station survey.

In a statement, Nagkaisa said full government response means giving full attention and formulating plans of action to stop the "unemployment bloodbath."

The labor coalition also sought  elaborate employment programs, which include  massive public employment programs, aimed not only at saving a dying economy but also at providing guaranteed jobs and income to millions of Filipinos who are sinking deeper into poverty.

"Consider this demand as a mayday call similar with what the medical frontliners have demanded of government two weeks back," the group said.

"Obviously, staying at home without work can be as deadly as being infected by the virus. And worse when both hit the workers, their families, and communities at the same time," they added.

Nagkaisa said a dying economy cannot be revived without putting workers back to work. 

"The government as well as capital should now accept the reality that the ‘whole of nation approach’ must have the frontliner and backliner workers as main element of the pandemic response. We need to preserve jobs. We need to generate new employment," the group said.

The widespread unemployment problem, Nagkaisa said, also requires a massive public employment backed by hundreds of billions of stimulus fund.

It added that the P162-billion Bayanihan 2 appropriation for everything cannot certainly address the unemployment problem of this magnitude.

Nagkaisa reminded Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council Technical Working Group on Employment is yet to be formed and called to a meeting to hammer out plans and recommendations from both the employers, labor and government. 

"Otherwise, without an inclusive process to address this problem head on, the future of the economy and the world of work will all be at the mercy of the militarized Inter-Agency Task Force. Or with the Finance department and NEDA which still harbor to an illusion that a V-shaped recovery is still possible within the year," the group said.