More Filipinos need new jobs this year

More Filipinos need new jobs this year

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - January 1, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The country’s population is estimated to balloon to 110,881,756 in 2021 from 109,480,590 in 2020.

Filipinos in the working age between 15 to 65 years old are also expected to increase by one million.

This implies the need for the country to create at least a half a million new jobs this year, according to the Commission on Population and Development.

Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said that this poses a huge challenge for the labor sector in the midst of the pandemic.

POPCOM said that the said age group will reach 71,278,520 this year.

In a press statement, POPCOM said that the changing age structure of the country’s population due to the increase in the working age population indicates a demographic precondition for greater productivity, given its potential to support the dependent population.

Perez III said that the increasing working age population presents a prospect for economic gain because of potentially greater income and productivity it can generate.

However, he said that there is a need to ensure that members of the labor force are healthy, educated, skilled and gainfully employed.

“This is what we need to work on to attain the demographic dividend and reap its economic benefits in the next five years. Otherwise, they can potentially become dependents on the income of the family and on government agencies,” Perez added.

Sought for comments, Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of the Associated Labor Unions, said that a very tiny number of these additional new workforces may end up indeed ideally employed domestically with entry level jobs.

Dennis Derige, spokesperson of Partido Manggagawa-Cebu, said that the demographic shift to a bigger working age population should be an opportunity but in the case of the Philippines, it is more of a threat.

He said that the economy is in a sharp recession due to the pandemic and due to the lockdown, 2.2 million was added to the number of discouraged workers.—  GMR (FREEMAN)

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