MANILA, Philippines—United Nationalist Alliance senatorial candidate Jack Enrile on Tuesday urged both the government and the private sectors to collaborate in creating more jobs as part of the over-all effort to boost economic growth and reduce poverty levels.
“Job creation should be the priority if we want to reduce the ranks of the poor,” Enrile said.
The senatorial aspirant made the call as reports indicated that the government is marking Labor Day by holding simultaneous job fairs nationwide, with more than 400,000 local and overseas vacancies awaiting jobseekers.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment, there are already 406,706 overseas and local jobs to be offered, with the number expected to reach half a million on Labor Day. In Metro Manila alone, about 100,000 local and overseas jobs will be offered to jobseekers.
Enrile pointed out that with the educational system producing about half a million new college graduates every year, there should be ready employment for them.
Reacting to news that non-wage benefits rather than a wage increase could be announced by President Aquino on Labor Day, Enrile said this is the prudent thing to do as the government must perform a “delicate balancing act in satisfying the demands of workers while also protecting the viability of business enterprises, especially small ones.”
He noted that while economic growth last year was better-than-expected, the country lagged behind is neighbors in reducing unemployment.
“The poor do need social protection, but much more important is providing them decent jobs that would allow them to go beyond hand-to-mouth existence,” Enrile said.
Enrile’s political platform, aside from job creation, is food security anchored on what he calls a “Murang Pagkain, Maraming Pagkain” program, and consumer protection from unfair trade practices that result in unjustified and unreasonable increases in the prices of goods and services.