Labor group sees
increase in employment in 2017 but expresses concern on rising
By Associated Labor Unions
December 13, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Labor
group Associated Labor Unions (ALU) attributes the high employment
rate to the optimism created by President Duterte’s repeated promise
to seriously address the worsening problems on peace and order
situation, graft and corruption in government bureaucracy, drastic
cutting on red tape specifically the setting up of business operations
and on his promise to build unprecedented number of strategic
In a Labor Force Survey
released by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed unemployment
reached its lowest level 4.7% in 11 years.
“We are also seeing Mr.
Duterte’s aggressive pro-China diplomacy initiatives, peace talking
with the communist movement actors, separatist entities and
personalities in Mindanao and his leadership sincerity helped magnify
the optimism for local and foreign investors to put up jobs-creating
investments,” said Alan Tanjusay, ALU spokesperson.
Feeling secured and assured
of their investments, he said these investors set up shops early to
anticipate the fruits of reduced graft and corruption, capitalize on
the ease of doing business, and increased mobility due to improve
peace and order situation.
“Plus, they also anticipate
and directly and indirectly participate to take part as Mr. Duterte is
hell-bent to spend big money on building mega infrastructures. All
these combined to create jobs which what we have now in anticipation
of the bigger things to come,” Tanjusay said.
Tanjusay said if Mr.
Duterte’s leadership momentum is not interrupted, construction allied
services would emerge and help create jobs.
However, the underemployment
scenario should be a cause of concern for government and employers, he
“It could mean that though
there are jobs available but their wages and benefits are inadequate
for them to cope with rising cost of living particularly the
increasing prices of basic goods and costs of services,” he said.
Government and employers,
therefore, should act simultaneously in addressing this
underemployment rate. Employers should raise their wages and improve
direct and indirect benefits to workers to help mitigate the rising
rate of underemployment. Government should improve social protection
benefits and insurance, enforce labor laws and safeguard predatory
increase of prices of basic commodities.
“With all of these, we see
an unprecedented increase in domestic employment in the year ahead.
But if employers and government ignore underemployment solutions,
economic growth will continue to be non-inclusive and inequitable with
the very few upper class people racing to the top while the working
people are racing to the bottom,” Tanjusay said.