MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has fallen short of its employment generation target of a million per year, while its public spending ratio continued to slide.
In the Socioeconomic Report (SER) 2010-2012 released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the agency said the administration was only able to create an average of 997,000 jobs per year.
Its spending, on the other hand, was equivalent to about 12.8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, lower than the 13.1% recorded in 2011, and 13.6% in 2010.
"To catch up with the targets in the PDP [Philippine Development Plan], the government will continue to partner with the private sector in developing the industry and services sector," the SER said.
"These strategies must however be founded on good governance, accountability, and transparency which are the overarching framework of the national government," it added.
Poor quality jobs
Apart from the government falling behind its job targets, the NEDA said the "more serious problem" is poor quality jobs seen through the number of underemployed in the country.
The NEDA said around one-fifth of all employed Filipinos are looking for better jobs. This means that one in 5 employed Filipinos are looking for longer work hours or additional jobs to make ends meet.
"Unlike unemployment which mainly affects the youth and the educated workforce, underemployment cuts across age and sex groups and is particularly pronounced among the less educated workforce and in regions where agriculture is the dominant sector," the report stated.
The report added that in July 2012, there were 8.546 million underemployed Filipinos. This was more than thrice the 2.842 million underemployed in July 2011.
The NEDA added that the expansion in employment in recent years was accompanied by periods of large increases in part-time employment. The part-time employment rate shot up to 18.4% in April 2012, significantly higher than 7% in January 2011, 5.5% in April 2011, and 11.8% in October 2011.
"On the average, part-time employment comprised more than one-third of total employed persons over the last two years," the SER stated.
"The labor market during the first two years of the Aquino Administration was marked by improvements in employment generation alongside the declining unemployment rate. However, key weaknesses remained in terms of the high underemployment rate and the rise in part-time employment," it added.
Meanwhile, the NEDA said the government's spending ratio slowed despite better tax and non-tax collections.
Bureau of Internal Revenue collections rose to 10.3% of GDP in 2012, from 9.1% in 2010, while non-tax revenues rose to 1.8% of GDP in the second semester of 2012, from 1.3% of in 2010.
The SER stated that revenue collection performance was still below the targets for 2011 as well as the first half of 2012.
"Despite the positive fiscal indicators however, actual government revenue levels continue to remain short of the program. Actual government spending for 2011 was 1.2 percentage points lower than the budget amount mainly due to underspending for infrastructure and other capital outlays," the SER stated.
"Fiscal performance is generally commendable but still has room for improvement given the path of revenue collection," it added.
The Aquino government aims to increase its spending-to-GDP ratio to 16.2% in 2016.
Below is the full Socioeconomic Report 2010-2012.
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