As our domestic economy continues its upward trajectory, the Filipino people are assured that the Duterte administration will continue to strengthen the labor market with better knowledge and skills training to our people to equip them with tools for various kind of jobs that are in demand at present and in the near future,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement yesterday.
The STAR/File
Palace vows to continue efforts to boost labor market
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang described the Philippine labor market as “vibrant” and vowed to sustain efforts to improve the quality of the country’s labor force.

As our domestic economy continues its upward trajectory, the Filipino people are assured that the Duterte administration will continue to strengthen the labor market with better knowledge and skills training to our people to equip them with tools for various kind of jobs that are in demand at present and in the near future,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement yesterday.

This was the reaction to the results of the October 2019 Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“The highly positive results of 1.8 million net employment gains for the October 2019 LFS truly speak of our commitment to provide efficient and fast services,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

As indicated by the LFS results, Bello said, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) achieved more than its overall target of 1.1 million net employment for the year.

Panelo attributed the lower unemployment rate to Duterte’s decision to strengthen ties with non-traditional allies.

“The independent foreign policy direction of the Chief Executive, making its doors open to more foreign direct investments creating plenty of livelihood and job opportunities for Filipinos, has made our economic growth robust, sustainable and inclusive,” he said.

Bello also attributed increased employment to vibrant wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, construction, education, accommodation and food service activities and public administration and defense.

“Agriculture, particularly fishing and aquaculture, also recovered in terms of employment,” he pointed out.

Bello said DOLE’s Internship Program and JobStart Philippines programs also contributed to enhancing youth employability.

Not the real picture

 According to labor groups, however, the latest LFS does not reflect the reality of the labor situation in the country.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesman Alan Tanjusay said there was increased employment, but these are not quality and long term jobs.

“There is escalating pandemic scale of contractual and five-month end-of- contract jobs,” Tanjusay noted.

Tanjusay added that the increase in employment of women and youth can be attributed to the emergence of online retail commerce of food, goods and services.

He said the government should continue providing workers with quality and regular employment.

Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa chair, said the LFS survey by the PSA does not portray a real picture of people having jobs.

“The more likely picture of unemployed adult persons (18 years old and above) can be found in the sum of the unemployed and underemployed persons of the labor force survey,” Magtubo pointed out.

Other labor groups said the survey also excluded those who have been discouraged and are not actively looking for jobs.

Based on the PSA survey, the Philippines recorded the lowest unemployment rate in October since 2005, at 95.5 percent.  – With Mayen Jaymalin

MALACAñANG RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE SALVADOR PANELO
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