'Shore up investments by $3-B to get 621,000 more jobs'
MANILA, Philippines - If the country receives additional investments of $3 billion in manufacturing, business process outsourcing and tourism, then the economy will be able to create more than half a million additional direct and indirect jobs per year.
In a press briefing on Thursday, February 7, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said these investments would create around 621,000 additional new jobs. This was part of a simulation done by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Balisacan said increasing investments would help generate the 3 to 4 million jobs per year that the World Bank said the Philippine economy needs in the next 3 years.
World Bank Philippines Country Director Motoo Konishi said the Philippines needs to create 14.6 million jobs between now and 2016. The World Bank said new entrants to the labor force reach 1.1 million per year while another 10 million are either unemployed or underemployed.
"Our labor force is growing by more than a million per year so obviously employment generation has to be more than that. To really make a dent on unemployment, underemployment, our ability to generate employment has to be enhanced substantially," Balisacan said.
"$3 billion is really a small amount. My point is, it's possible, it's not a wild dream that you can generate 14 million jobs," he added.
Local industries, jobs
Balisacan said NEDA's estimate does not include jobs that could be created in the agriculture sector, the most labor-intensive sector in the economy.
He said it was important to also attract investments in agriculture to raise incomes and lift millions out of poverty.
Balisacan said the government must spend for both soft and hard infrastructure to encourage investors to put capital in agriculture. He said bad roads and ports as well as difficult land ownership laws are among the main constraints to agriculture investments.
"Over the last two years, you've seen how infrastructure has contributed to the growth in the country. We should continue to put a lot of attention on infrastructure, especially outside of Metro Manila," he said. - Rappler.com