PH needs $3B in investments for massive job generation


The country needs to generate billions of dollars of investments to create enough jobs to sustain economic growth and address poverty, government economists said on Thursday.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) director-general, told reporters that it would take about $3 billion in new investments to generate 3 million to 4 million jobs yearly. It is the number of jobs needed to sustain economic growth while also curbing poverty and making growth “inclusive,” according to the World bank.

Balisacan said there was a need to stimulate investments in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and other sectors that provide jobs even for people without higher education or technical training.

The need for jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty is a “challenge” and the Philippines needs 14 million jobs between now and 2016, according to World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi.

“The domestic job market in the formal, services, manufacturing, industries and overseas are not enough to absorb so many people getting into the labor force. This means that all other sectors in the economy, particularly agribusiness and agriculture, must contribute more significantly to address joblessness and reduce poverty. Job creation is even more urgent in Mindanao as jobs contribute also to social cohesion,” Konishi said.

Private economists agree that job generation should be top priority especially since a benign inflation means one less concern for the government. Inflation is seen to stay within the 3 to 5 percent target band of the Development Budget Coordination Committee.

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  • philtrepreneur

    The government should encourage micro-entrepreneurship to unload them of so much responsibility of ensuring jobs for the unemployed. Imagine if you have 50,000 successful micro-entrepreneurs who could employ, at the most, 60 to 80 people then that practically covers the shortage. Plus, it will develop an independent mindset on individuals participating, thus, unloading so much burden on just one entity. Another option is providing growth and venture capital to those existing organizations who have the potential to expand but could not afford to do so. Thier ideas are just shelved because of lack of financial access. Another alternative is growing cooperatives in areas where there is potential growth. Provide equipment to farmers, boats to fishermen, provide training to villages on how they can improve road access to their villages to attract small investments. That would, at the same time, provide employment to the locals, Also, since the BPO business is continually growing, encourage investors to setup small offices in areas where there are, at least, 100 potentially qualified individuals to support the operations. This will discourage people from clamoring to come to Manila just to find work. Minimum salaries should also be uniformed. Imagine if an individual from the province earns the same wage from someone in Manila. Their purchasing power strengthens, thus, empowers them to save and eventually become micro-entrepreneurs themselves. What we need, at this point, to combat poverty, unemployment and the like, is to provide opportunities to individuals and groups who have the strongest and practical ideas but don’t have the resources to bring them into fruition. That is the problem as to why there are still the poor and the unemployed. Because a good economy only caters to those who can afford and have access, thereby, limiting growth to trickle down to the masses who are the ones greatly affected.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    The Philippines should train more workers for local jobs.   Emphasize more on Training training, the best instructor from around the world. Look at India and China, they send their citizens abroad to get the best training and cameback to train the rest.  They also hired the best instructors from abroad.
    Get rid of pork barrel and give Filipino workers the best training in the world.  Senate and congress are non-productive branch of the government. 

  • disqusted0fu

    So where are the foreign investments that Pnoy and his administration have been bragging about? What happened to the foreign investors who they said are lining up already? That’s what happens when the economic gains are only for the benefit of bragging rights. It did not include the creation of jobs which is the biggest dilemma of PH economy. 

    • ProudPinoyinLosAngeles

      And of course nagmamadali ka dahil ikaw ang all-knowing sa lahat ng international goverment dealings that you fail to see that it just doesn’t happen like magic! Ikaw na kaya ang maging presidente? Oooppps I forgot, isa ka pa lang militanteng traydor sa bayan na walang ibang motibo kundi maghasik ng lagim OR isa kang bitter supporter ni corrupt pandak! 

  • tilney

    Govt should construct additional training centers or mobile training training facilities since a lot of  these unemployed graduates and workers do not have  the skills  to land  jobs, there are a lot of  jobs available both local and abroad but there are mismatches with the qualifications and skills,TESDA training centers are not enough and some of the requirements by TESDA will not qualify most of  them because of the qualification examination. and limited slots available. I believe a billion pesos allocation will be more than enough for  500,000 cadre of workers to get qualifications in various fields welding, air conditioning, electrical, heavy , masonry, carpentry, equipment,instrumentation, rigging, oil and refinery,  

  • rodben

    Why don’t try the 70’s gov’t style building public hospital in all localities instead of selling it to private sectors, creating public clinics in all Barangays all over the country, building public school building in all levels  all over the country, building public technical schools in all localities all over the country same like TESDA in Taguig and lower down the electricity rate to encourage to foreign and local investors…I guess not possible to achieve on what the WORLD BANK target on Philippines employments…..Some times I was in Malaca the Pirate zone in Malaysia in 60’s and early 70′( the time of progressive Pinas ) I saw a big public hospital their with a sign board” WELCOME TO MALACA PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL ONE OF WORLD SPECIALIST HOSPITAL” this is big as Makati medical Center and the International aiport their has a train inside and electricity are very cheap….if Malaysia can do these possible to create jobs why the Philippines can’t…GOV’T HAS PLENTY MONEY…

  • RomyLitz

    Sec. Balisacan,

    So what are you doing with the US $22 Billion annual remittances of OFWs? Besides , if that is not enough, where is the most repeated business news by the Mr. Ang of San Miguel Co.,that they will invest for a long term projects worth US$ 35 Billion?? Thirdly, the US$ 4 Billion Mega Casino in Manila? What kind of investments are there to think that US$3 Billion is an unreachable target ?

  • Fernando O. Yu

    foreign investors na gustong mag invest sa pinas, kaso ayaw nilang
    mikisosyo sa mga oligarch… foreign investors are not allowed to own a
    company 100 percent in the Philippines kaya sa ibang asean countries
    nalang sila nag invest. Masakit isipin na mas malaki pa ang FDI na
    pumasok sa mayanmar at burma last year. Mayanmar 1.8 billion us dollar,
    burma 1.7 billion us dollars, philippinwa 1.4 billion us dollars.

    asan ang pinagmalaki ni pnoy na nag lilinya mga foreign investors na
    gustong mag invest sa pinas?  Gusto lang nila pero kadalasan nag baback
    out dahil sa 60/40 economic foreign equity na yan.

    • sked482

      Funny I always thought Burma and Myanmar are one and the same. I agree with your points though.

  • ApoLapullapu

    What we probably need are entrepreneurs.  OFW remittances are not invested in business and are increasing our dollar reserves.  Yet we have not improved employment generation.

  • Pert Cabatana

    there’s something wrong with that $3B. We are already achieving that, or at least close to that level. What we really need is a much higher $13B/yr (this can be computed by combining the data of Konishi and Balisacan.)

    • John

      Philippine FDI is around $1.2B in 2012.  It is because our economy is being help up by the 60-40 rule of the Cory constitution which was designed to protect the businesses of the oligarchs and the elites.

      I’d say the government should open up the economy more. Repeal the 60-40 in our constitution if not create a better EO to substitute this.  More FDI means more jobs and more competition and hopefully translate to better income. Better income will have a multiplier effect in creating other support jobs and businesses.

      Amend the 60-40 rule.

      • WeAry_Bat

         Supposing the abolishment of 60-40 creates a more miserable economy just like the good intentions of EPIRA which led to the highest electricity prices in Phils above any asian country…

        Is there any legal / constitutional safeguards or retro-law to restore 60-40 if the 100% is wrong?

        I was thinking the business oligarchs would be more careful because they are in the same basket with rest of the Filipinos, though I think closer to the rim where they don’t breath the same air as the Filipinos below.

  • PCD_2012

    Since Aquino doesn’t support changing the constitution by allowing foreigners to get a higher ownership-percentage then why not build more FREE ZONES around the country?

    If you don’t want to tweak the Constitution then FREE ZONES are the answer!  The government can set the rules giving more incentives to entice the Foreign Investors to put their moneys in the Philippines!  Come to think of it, the Government owns the Free Zone Facilities at the same time you are controlling them inside a certain area!  FREE ZONE is a WIN-WIN solution for the country!

    Look at the progressive countries in Asia all of them have a high percentage of foreign companies operating in their soils because MORE COMPANIES means MORE JOBS!  Instead of letting out many Filipinos to search for jobs outside the country why not bring those potential companies inside the Philippines???

    • Joseph20112012

      // If you don’t want to tweak the Constitution then FREE ZONES are the
      answer!  The government can set the rules giving more incentives to
      entice the Foreign Investors to put their moneys in the Philippines! 
      Come to think of it, the Government owns the Free Zone Facilities at the
      same time you are controlling them inside a certain area!  FREE ZONE is
      a WIN-WIN solution for the country!//

      Although I like with the establishment of Free Zone areas but the long-term disadvantage will be the creation of a two-tiered economy where those areas covered in a Free Zone will have an better-off economic standards while those areas not covered will not have.

      Scrapping the 60/40 equity restrictions is the best remedy to assure foreign investors a guarantee 100% control of their investments all across the country, whether covered by PEZA-controlled Free Zones or not.

      • PCD_2012

        The problem is the president doesn’t support your idea and I don’t think it will happen in his term.  Building more Free Zones is the least that the government can do for now!

        Many Filipinos feared that lands can be massively bought by foreigners especially those in the highlands that are rich in valuable minerals.  If the people can be educated that there’s a CAP or RESTRICTIONS in owning properties then I believe there’s a chance that their mindset can be changed.  

        If the advantages of having more “Foreign Direct Investments versus Overseas Jobs” can be taught in the schools then it will be easy for the government to change its foreign-ownership policy. 

        Youngsters will be the game changer in this issue because they are the first one who is being affected especially when they started going out of their schools to hunt for their living!

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