Gov’t strategies to boost job production amid pandemic: Panelo

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo (File photo)

MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday expressed confidence that the “three-pronged strategy” crafted by the country’s economic team would generate more job opportunities in the country.

Para mapabilis ‘yung ating pagbabalik sa dati nating malusog na ekonomiya at yung pagbabalik sa mga trabaho, ‘yung ating mga economic managers ay merong sinasabing tatlong istratehiya (To restore our robust economy and create more jobs, our economic managers have three strategies),” Panelo said in his commentary show “Counterpoint”.

About four million adult Filipinos were left jobless in January this year despite the gradual reopening of the Philippine economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Unemployment worsened to 8.7 percent in January from 5.3 percent in the same month last year, according to the preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s labor force survey released on Tuesday.

Panelo said further easing of restrictions amid the pandemic would allow more people to return to work.

Ang ating bansa ngayon ay dahan-dahang bumabalik na kahit may pandemya sapagkat yung mga nawawalan ng trabaho, dahan-dahan na nagkakaroon, nakukuha muli ang mga trabaho nila (Despite the pandemic, our country is gradually returning to normalcy because those who lost their jobs are now able to return to work),” he said.

To address unemployment, Panelo said the country’s economic managers have come up with strategies to accelerate job creation.

These strategies, he said, are the safe reopening of the economy, the full implementation of the recovery package, and the timely implementation of the Covid-19 vaccine program.

Citing the latest labor force survey data released by the National Economic and Development Authority, Panelo noted that about 1.4 million jobs lost due to the pandemic have been restored.

He added that the unemployment rate decreased from 12.4 percent to 8.8 percent last January.

“‘Yung mga employer natin ay talagang hinahanapan ng paraan upang ma-handle nila ‘yung krisis ng maayos at pati na yung negosyo nila, matulungan ang mga empleyado nila sa kanilang mga trabaho at makaahon (The employers in the country are looking for ways to handle the crisis and save their businesses, as well as help their employees recover),” Panelo said.

He also cited the Salary Budget Planning Report of global advisory, broking, and solutions firm Willis Towers Watson, which revealed that workers in the Philippines are projected to have an average increase of 5.6 percent in their salary this year.

“Kahit may pandemya (Even if there’s a pandemic), there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel,” Panelo said. “So when you’re down, there’s no other way but up.” (PNA)

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