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Tacloban City and the rest of the typhoon-ravaged places in Regions 6, 7 and 8 must be rehabilitated and rebuilt based on a framework designed to enhance the people’s capacity to survive calamities and to live a secure and dignified life.
By Cielito F. Habito
Over the past year, our gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an impressive 7.5 percent (as of end-June). In the process, the economy saw a net increase of 620,000 additional jobs on top of the 37,555,000 jobs that existed in the economy last year. This means that the number of jobs grew by only 1.6 percent, or just about one-fifth of the rate at which the economy grew.
By Mahar Mangahas
“Joblessness.” Last Monday, Social Weather Stations reported (BusinessWorld, 10/7/2013) that joblessness was 26.1 percent of adults in its survey of June 28-30, 2013. The basic SWS jobless figure is for those who say they have no job at the time of the survey (“walang trabaho sa kasalukuyan“), and who are looking for a job. The basic SWS jobless percentage in the previous quarter was 25.4 in March 2013.
In President Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address, he boldly asserted that the strategy in making growth inclusive is “sagarin ang oportunidad para sa lahat.” (Open to the max every opportunity for all.) Workers now ask P-Noy: Sagad na ba ang P10 umento sa sahod? (Is the P10-salary hike the best there is?)
The Aquino administration is facing a tricky situation on the labor front. With the number of unemployed Filipinos swelling to an estimated three million in July, labor groups continue to clamor for higher wages.
By Cielito F. Habito
Jobless Filipinos breached the three-million mark last April, according to the quarterly Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO). Coming with a stellar 7.8-percent economic growth in the first quarter, it seemed to negate what would otherwise be a streak of good economic news that we hadn’t seen for a while. In my usual “PiTiK test”—for presyo (prices), trabaho (jobs) and kita (income)—the good news is two out of three. Inflation has been low and steady (at 2.6 percent), aggregate output and income have been growing fast and accelerating, but—and this is the black eye—jobs appear to have declined.
The number of jobless Filipinos soared to a whopping 3.09 million or 7.5 percent—the highest unemployment rate recorded in three years. The Labor Force Survey of the National Statistics Office also revealed that the number of employed Filipinos went down to 37.819 million in April 2013 compared to the 37.840 million during the same period last year. The slump is said to have been caused by the decline of employment in the agriculture sector.
The Labor Day job fairs announced by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz are a farce. These job fairs are a gimmick—to cover up the truth that government is not doing anything significant to solve mass unemployment.
Will 2013 usher in some pleasant improvements for the Philippines, or will it be just a repeat of 2010, 2011 and 2012? The past three years have been about economic gains, some of which can be traced to the previous administration’s initiatives—not new growth, just a continuation from the past. In 2012, the Aquino administration [...]
By Cielito F. Habito
“PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC growth likely slowed in Q3,” blared a news headline about a forecast attributed to a large investment bank, just a few days before the official data came out—announcing the exact opposite. It can be hazardous indeed to make fearless forecasts on the economy, especially when released shortly before official data are due to come out. But then again, most financial institutions had actually predicted a slower third quarter, only to be proven wrong with the third-quarter data showing a surprising 7.1-percent surge instead. This is well beyond what was already considered a surprising 6.4-percent growth posted in the first quarter. Economics has never been a precise science, and not even the most sophisticated mathematical or statistical tools can help when there simply are too many unknowns in the equation.
By Rigoberto Tiglao
Blah-blah over inanities like “the people are my Boss” and “the impossible becoming possible” may be inspiring to some. For most Filipinos, however, these mean absolutely nothing. What matters is whether a President has created a national environment that generates jobs enough to allow most Filipinos to keep body and soul together.
By Neal H. Cruz
I agree with most of what President Aquino said in his State of the Nation Address but he forgot (or deliberately avoided mentioning) an important problem: squatting.