Failure in job creation
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2014 - 12:00am

In a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, President Aquino asked his Cabinet to explain what went wrong that resulted in the number of unemployed, increasing 6% to 27.5%, totalling 12.1 million jobless Filipinos.

P-Noy asked the Cabinet for an action plan on poverty reduction. It appears that the main program to combat poverty is the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which has now ballooned to P62 billion.

Analysts have expressed the view that the CCT has not been effective in alleviating poverty.  The ‘cash for work’ programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have been too small, and are benefitting only a few thousand of the 12.5 million unemployed.

The infrastructure spending has focused on big ticket projects and not in job intensive projects like farm-to-market roads and small communal irrigation systems.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the Aquino administration is focusing on job creation in manufacturing and more highly remunerative sectors. He gave no further details.

Economics professors Victor Abola and Benjamin Diokno expressed the view that the 7.2% gross domestic product (GDP) growth did not translate in the hiring of more workers.

Diokno said that even the multibillion-peso school-building program has been awarded to big-time contractors, instead of the thousands of small contractors that used to do the job.

Other economists also said that we need to attain a 9% GDP growth to create jobs. The projection of GDP in 2014 by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is still at 6.5-7.5% GDP growth.

The bottom line — “The Aquino administration has failed to create jobs.”

More witnesses

Lawyer Levito Baligod said Monday that they are expecting Pauline Labayen, deputy chief of staff of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Richard Cambe, chief political adviser to Sen. Bong Revilla Jr., to come out like Ruby Tuason, and spill the beans.

Tuason and Ben Luy said that part of the money was delivered by actor Mat Ranillo to a house in Dasmariñas Village.

Senator Estrada charged that Ruby Tuason was being spoon fed by government agents to pin him down as she conferred with Ben Luy to synchronize their testimony.

Word has come out that Tuason will return P40 million as commission she received for delivering the money to Senators Enrile and Jinggoy.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile stated that he met Ruby Tuason only once in a Makati restaurant to discuss a real estate transaction, but not the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte suggested that the investigators also focus on the Philippine Forest Corp. (PhilForest), which received P100 million in PDAF funds from 2 senators and 20 congressmen.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III denied that they had released funds to ghost organizations through PhilForest.

Ruby Tuason also stated that delivery of funds to Jinggoy were made directly and received by Pauline Labayen. Senator Jinggoy fully denied Tuason’s allegations.

Raid all warehouses

The confiscation of P1 billion worth of counterfeit China goods, from 17 warehouses in Parañaque, once again confirms the extensive smuggling that is going on of different goods.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should step up its inspection of warehouses to which many containers are delivered.

In the case of the 2,000 missing containers, it was quite clear that Customs personnel have records of where they were delivered.

BOC/NBI should now also conduct a 100% inspection of all warehouses of rice stocks.

More clashes in Mindanao

Six Abu Sayyaf rebels were wounded in an encounter in Talipao, Sulu. Six civilian volunteers were wounded.

One marine was killed, three were wounded in another ambush in Sulu.

One soldier was killed in an ambush in Parang Sulu.

Six soldiers were wounded in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Davao Del Sur.

Waiting for SC

People are still waiting for the Supreme Court (SC) decision on the reproductive health law passed by Congress in December 2012, by a narrow vote.

It took more than 13 years to pass the bill as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other church groups campaigned against it.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte called on the Supreme Court to approve the law as the majority of Filipinos are in favor of the law. Belmonte asked the SC to respect the majority opinion, which calls for their freedom of choice.

It will be a close vote in the Supreme Court.

Slow construction

After more than three months, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) finally finished the construction of 221 bunkhouses distributed as follows: Tacloban City, 51; Ormoc City, 42; Palo, 37; Eastern Samar, 60; and Western Samar, 32.

DPWH explained that the delay was caused by bad weather and by the lack of construction materials, which had to come all the way from Manila.

National Housing Authority plans to build 60,000 houses in the Yolanda-hit areas, but like in Cagayan de Oro it will take at least 2 to 3 years.

Tidbits: There are extensive floods in England. Prime Minister David Cameron publicly apologized for not doing things fast enough to help thousands affected. An apology is also due from the Aquino government for their slow action on Yolanda-hit areas.

Eighty-one people have died at the evacuation centers in Zamboanga City.

Philippine National Police (PNP) admits carnapping is up to 576. They also admitted that 70% of crimes are not reported.

TV reports corruption and kickbacks in the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).

The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) has moved its opening of classes to July. Earlier, Ateneo de Manila, and all University of the Philippines units except Diliman moved their opening to August.

Man shot dead in Bacoor, Cavite. Live-in-partner critically wounded.

Police Officer 1 Adener Paña was stabbed to death in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.


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