RP target: 500,000 new jobs

Published by rudy Date posted on February 16, 2009

Malacañang admitted that the country could see massive job losses this year, but said that the administration is working hard to counter the problem by creating jobs locally despite the current economic crisis.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Arroyo administration projects that between 60,000 and 200,000 workers are vulnerable to losing their jobs this year, contrary to The Manila Times’ Saturday report saying the Philippines could lose up to 200,000 jobs this year.

Remonde clarified that they considered the 60,000 to 200,000 workers “vulnerable,” but that it doesn’t mean that those workers would lose their jobs soon.

Despite this grim scenario, he said they expect the economy to create at least 500,000 jobs this year through aggressive government programs crafted by the country’s economic managers.
Last week, for example, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. said the administration was hiring some 60,000 workers this year for the public sector, aside from the 180,000 casual employees to be temporarily hired for six months.

He said the recent government initiative is aimed at employing teachers, non-teaching personnel, nurses, policemen and jail guards.

The administration also announced recently the employment of nurses through Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) program. The government said 5,000 nurses would be employed to serve poor patients far-flung municipalities in the country. National and local governments are expected to fund their employment. Separately, the 180,000 casual workers will be employed through government savings worth round P7 billion, according to the Labor department. The hiring of contractual workers was the result of a job summit spearheaded by the President last week.

Projects at TESDA

On Sunday, the Palace announced that President Gloria Arroyo would visit the headquarters of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Taguig City to assess the agency’s ongoing job-training and job-matching program for Filipinos who lost their jobs.

The administration launched the job-training and job-matching assistance project to help the unemployed and underemployed, especially displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the global crunch, to find other jobs or establish their own livelihood projects.

The other agencies involved in the program are the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of Trade and Industry and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology.

Also involved in the program are placement agencies, training providers, private companies, industry associations and sectoral groups, such as the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, among others.

The President was also scheduled to meet with displaced workers from the CALABARZON (the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Taiwan. The Arroyo administration unveiled recently a P250-million assistance program for OFWs displaced as a result of the current global financial crisis. –Angelo S. Samonte, Reporter, Manila Times

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