Group says employment woes increased

STAUNCH critics of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Monday said the current administration failed to resolve the long-running problem of joblessness in the country.

Citing a recent study made by independent think tank Ibon Foundation, the progressive party list group Anakpawis unemployment and underemployment rate increase by 9.3 percent equivalent to 780,000 more job loss from 10.9 million unemployed and underemployed Filipinos in April 2010 to 11.7 million jobless and opportunity lacking Filipinos in April 2012.

“The statistics of the government run National Statistics Office has confirmed that more and more Filipinos are joining the ranks of unemployed and underemployed people but President Aquino has never admitted this economic disaster in his 2010 and 2011 SONA.

This trend of obscuring the real state of the Filipino people is expected to take a trilogy in Aquino’s 3rd SONA,” said Anakpawis party list vice chairperson Fernando Hicap.

According to IBON Foundation, the domestic job crisis remains unresolved. Although the government managed to produce some 2.5 million jobs, the survey group said these jobs are part-time and conventionally low-paying, lacks job security and without benefits. On the other hand the number of full-time workers fell by 1.6 million.

“Malacanang spin off masters are practically doing everything, anything to hide the real score of the local economy and the situation of perpetual joblessness across the nation. Just imagine 4 out of 10 employed Filipinos are now part-time workers who could lose their jobs at any given time of the day,” the Anakpawis leader lamented.

Hicap, a fisherman by profession also cited the study made by the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on the plight of Filipino fish workers in the commercial and aquaculture sectors.

The Pamalakaya study said there are 600,000 fish workers in commercial and aquaculture sectors. It said these workers in fishery sectors receive below minimum wage and they are perpetually denied of other social benefits such as medical assistance and calamity aid.

According to the fisherfolk group— workers in commercial fisheries merely receive take home pay between Php 150 – Php 250, way below the prescribed P 446 daily minimum wage. In aquaculture sector, fish workers receive almost the same rate of their counterparts in the commercial fisheries sector.

Anakpawis said aside from fatal failures of Aquino on job creation, the administration also failed in providing decent wage to Filipino workers.

Using the same study conducted by Ibon Foundation, the party list group noted that the P 30 wage increase in the National Capital Region (NCR) that hiked the daily take home pay to P 446 has never made a dent to improve the quality of life of Filipino workers.

“The Php 446 daily take home pay is no match to Php 1,017 family living wage. It is both mathematically and materially impossible for a Filipino worker to keep his or her family stay and survive given this modern-day slave like system we have these days since time immemorial,” the group noted.

Anakpawis said President Aquino has been campaigning against the proposed House Bill No. 375 authored by Rep. Rafael Mariano. The bill seeks to grant a Php 125 daily wage hike to full-time and part time workers, but the Anakpawis party list congressman stressed that President Aquino and his associates in the business sector are frustrating the bill to get approval of Congress. “

Mr. Aquino has been told and challenged to certify this bill as urgent to provide immediate economic relief to millions of starving Filipino workers. But this constitutionally mandated and morally upright demand for legislated wage hike has never been considered by the pro-capitalist and transnational puppet in Malacanang,” said Anakpawis.

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