What Metro Manila mayors are doing to employ more locals

Rambo Talabong

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What Metro Manila mayors are doing to employ more locals
Despite its reputation for being a land of employment, Metro Manila continues to register one of the highest unemployment rates in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – One staple promise every election candidate has made for their constituents is jobs.

Everywhere, there are people looking for jobs. According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Philippines’ national unemployment rate stood at 5.4% in July 2019.

While Metro Manila appears to hold the country’s land of promise and prosperity, it continues to have the 3rd highest unemployment rate among the regions with a 6.1% record.

This has led to pressure for Metro Manila mayors to work doubly hard, as this percentage corresponds to hundreds of thousands of people in their population-rich cities.

Rappler compiles employment efforts by the capital region’s mayors as of September 8, 2019.

Manila’s Isko Moreno

PARTNERSHIP. Isko Moreno in a Jollibee branch opening. Photo from Moreno's Facebook page

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has used a combination of ordinances and partnerships with private companies to lead to more employment.

As he began his term, he called on businesses to employ more Manileños. He has incentivized this by lowering taxes in the city.

He has also had two dinners with the country’s richest, where in both occasions he called for them to invest more in the capital city.

Moreno has also signed two memorandums of agreement with fast-food giants Jollibee and McDonald’s to employ at least 2 senior citizens and 1 person with disability for each of their restaurant branches.

Quezon City’s Joy Belmonte

A TEASE. Mayor Joy Belmonte says there are 'jobs, jobs, jobs' to come in Quezon City. Photo from Belmonte's Facebook page

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte responded quickly to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear roads of illegal obstructions, illegal vendors included.

But just a week later, she announced the vendors would not lose their livelihood and would instead be registered, complete with employment benefits.

The vendors would also be given identification cards, uniforms, and “affordable or free stalls” care of the local government.

Inside the local government her father used to lead, she said that she would shoot down any attempts of promotion through endorsement letters from padrinos (sponsors).

On Facebook, she also teased of more jobs to come in the country’s biggest city by announcing a meeting with Mercury Drug, the IT-BPO Association, the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the Quezon City Chamber of Commerce on September 3.

Pasig’s Vico Sotto

JOB SECURUTY. Pasig City's traffic enforcers take a course on professionalism as a way to possibly gain permanent employment with the local government. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has focused on employment through the government.

Even before he was sworn to office, he already announced that the city had vacancies. He said that to be hired, applicants need to at least have competence and integrity – a call that fits his anti-corruption drive.

Since August 2, Vico Sotto’s administration has also been regularizing traffic enforcers from its Traffic and Parking Management Office or TPMO.

The end goal is to regularize 641 men and women to stop what Sotto has described was a “notorious” reputation for extortion.

Makati’s Abby Binay

MCDO AND MAKATI. Mayor Abby Binay poses for a photo with Ronald McDonald and McDonald's CEO and President Kenneth. Photo from Binay's Facebook page

Makati Mayor Abby Binay has also met with McDonald’s, like Manila’s Isko Moreno.

Instead of employment for senior citizens and PWDs, she aimed for the employment of over a thousand senior high school and special education students.

Binay met with McDonald’s Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang on September 3, where according to Binay the fast-food giant was willing to partner with the city for its “work immersion program,” which began in 2017. – Rappler.com 

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.