Mar vows to generate 1 M jobs yearly

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas II yesterday vowed to generate at least one million jobs yearly and protect the rights of workers if he is elected.

Roxas said he has the track record in creating jobs during his stint as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the Arroyo administration.

“I have done this (generate jobs) in the DTI, for example, in the call center industry, the garments industry where millions are employed,” Roxas told reporters in Bulacan where he met some members of garment workers’ groups.

“We had a strategic plan where we sought the help of the private sector and schools to create jobs,” he added.

The IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines sees the business process outsourcing sector directly employing up to 1.3 million Filipinos and yielding some $26 billion in annual revenues this year.

Roxas also vowed to prosecute employers who underpay their workers or resort to contractualization.

He said labor laws should be strictly implemented so that workers are not exploited.

Roxas backed trade unions, saying the organizations help protect workers’ rights and improve their work conditions.

The Social Weather Stations survey conducted last December showed that around 9.1 million adults or 21.4 percent of the labor force remained jobless.

The survey found the adult labor force participation rate at 69.7 percent, or an estimated 42.6 million adults. This is 0.3 point below the 69.4 percent labor force participation rate in September 2015.

Adult joblessness consists of those who voluntarily left their old jobs; those who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control, termed as the retrenched, and those seeking jobs for the first time.

Roxas and his partymates took their campaign to Western Mindanao on Friday.

Roxas, his runningmate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and senatorial aspirants Senate President Franklin Drilon, Sens. Ralph Recto and Mark Lapid barnstormed mostly the capital areas of Zamboanga peninsula.

They were welcomed by supporters in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur and Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Roxas was also invited as the guest of honor for the 79th Dia de Zamboanga.

He thanked the crowd for supporting the administration’s daang matuwid (straight path) program. – With Roel Pareño

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