Unemployment rises under Duterte’s watch

Aika Rey
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that 145,000 more Filipinos were unemployed in 2017 at 2,185,000

INDUSTRIALIZATION. A worker accomplishes his tasks at a car manufacturing plant. File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – According to government figures, the profile of an unemployed Filipino is a male Junior High School graduate, between 15 and 24 years old.

He is from Ilocos, and is looking for job through a private employment agency for less than a month already.

The government is ramping up on its efforts for a Labor Day job fair across the Philippines for unemployed Filipinos.

According to the labor department, more than 143,000 jobs here and abroad will be available for the government-organized Labor Day fair.

The numbers are promising. But the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that there were 145,000 more Filipinos unemployed in 2017 at 2,185,000, from the previous year’s figure of 2,040,000.

Statistics

According to PSA, there are still more Filipino men that do not have jobs than women. Around 1.4 million of the unemployed are males while 783,000 are females.

Most unemployed Filipinos are between ages 15 to 24, which comprise 43.9% of the total figures in October 2017.

Of the unemployed, 665,000 were Junior High School finishers.  It was followed by college graduates at 449,000.

Meanwhile, government records also showed that the country’s average unemployment rate increased by 0.3% from 4.7% to 5%.

Ilocos posted the highest unemployment rate among regions at 8.2%, a sharp rise from its 2016 rate of 5.4%. It is followed by Metro Manila at 6.1%, a small increase from last year’s 6%.

Promises

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to create more jobs and to end contractualization.

But recently, the President also ordered the closure of Boracay due its environmental problems, displacing 36,000 workers who are heavily dependent on tourism economy.

Some 251,000 overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait are also fearing for their future, amid the diplomatic row between the Philippine government and the Gulf country. Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa was declared “persona non grata” for the embassy’s rescue of abused OFWs.

Labor groups are still waiting for the President to sign the Executive Order that would end labor contracting practices by establishments.Three deadlines and 5 draft versions had passed, but he is nowhere near signing an EO.

Instead, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there will no longer be an EO, and left it to Congress to pass a law.

With unemployment rising and an EO left unsigned, it seems the President still has unfulfilled promises to the Filipino workers. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.