The administration boasts about the country’s economic growth, but this is useless to the 10 million jobless Filipinos, said Atty. Erin Tañada, Liberal Party vice president on external affairs.
“Para kanino ba ang economic growth kung 10 milyong Pilipino ang walang trabaho? Kung ang mga magsasaka ay naghihirap at lubog sa utang (For whom is the economic growth if 10 million Filipinos are jobless? If the farmers are suffering and are deep in debt)?” Tañada asked.
The latest Social Weather Stations survey placed adult joblessness rate at 21.5% or 10 million Filipinos.
“This figure only shows an unsteady labor market conditions rather than a strengthening economy. Ano’ng kwenta sa 10 milyong walang-trabahong mga Pilipino ang pinagmamalaking economic growth?” said Tañada, who ran in the 2019 elections on the platform of decent jobs for Filipinos.
Tañada said the figure of 10 million jobless Filipinos could be higher if the government does not use a revised definition of employment, which counts among those as employed those who work for only one hour a day.
“Para mapabilang sa ‘employed,’ hindi sapat na may trabaho. Dapat may dignidad sa trabaho, nakakapagkain ng pamily, nakakapagpaaral ng anak, at nakakatugon sa mga pangangailangan ng pamilya (For those who can be counted as ‘employed,’ it is not enough that they have jobs. It has to be decent too and dignified and can put food on the table, send the children to school, and at least pay for the basic needs of the family),” he said.
“Nakakalungkot na marami tayong kilalang Pilipino na isang-kahig, isang-tuka, at walang nagbago sa buhay nila kahit pa sa pinagyayabang na economic growth ng administration (Sadly, we know many Filipinos live on a hand-to-mouth existence and nothing has changed for them despite this administration’s brandishing of economic growth),” he added.
Tañada said the administration can do better by ensuring a safe and secure tenure for the country’s workers, raising minimum wage to a decent rate, and boosting the agriculture sector to ensure the country’s food security.