Rise in unemployment shows hollowness of Noynoy’s supposed economic gains

YOUTH group Anakbayan slammed the Aquino administration for failing to generate enough job opportunities, saying that worsening unemployment only proves its economic policies inefficient.

The youth group Anakbayan cited the rise in the county’s unemployment rate as proof of the ‘wrong direction’ of the Aquino administration in terms of economic policies.

“Instead of developing our own industries, Aquino continued to pursue economic policies which highly other countries, and makes us dependent on them” Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said, referring to the continuation of the Labor Export Policy (LEP), perks for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, and ‘wage freezes’ or the refusal to give decent wage hikes to workers.

Last month, Anakbayan downplayed news of a supposed increase by 7.1% in the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2012, calling it a ‘bloated figure’ and ‘divorced from reality’.

The youth group pointed out that the 7.1% ‘growth’ was fueled mainly by remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the business process outsourcing (BPO), two sectors which are traditionally ‘unstable’.

“The BPO sector and OFW remittances are highly vulnerable to the ups and downs of other countries’ economies. Even worse, unlike the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, they do not ‘spark’ growth in other sectors of the economy which would have made us more self-reliant and shield us from the effects of economic recessions and depressions abroad” said Crisostomo.

He said that the increase in the unemployment rate merely affirmed Anakbayan’s analysis, as well as the folly of the Aquino administration’s economic policies.

Anakbayan also said that it was very “misleading” of the government to feed the people news of excellent growth in GDP, while not showing how the ordinary Filipino benefits from the said growth.

Despite the reported 7.1% economic growth, unemployment grew from 6.4% in the third quarter to 6.8% from the same period last year. Most employed Filipinos are in the sevice sector, with the industry sector having the least contribution to employment.

“Do they think the people are dumb? They are trying to fool us into thinking that they ahve done agood job, when wealth and opportunity remain poorly distributed across the population,” Crisostomo said.

The Aquino administration’s answer to unemployment is the K to 12, but Anakbayan said that the program will only reinforce the idea that Filipinos are merely cheap labor to be exported.

The youth group explained that Aquino’s budget cuts in social services such as education, and the freedom it grants private institutions to raise tuition yearly, makes unemployment possible.

“Another reason why many don’t have jobs is that they cannot afford the high costs of education. K to 12 will only push up the price of tertiary education, farther from the reach of the people, with less students who will pursue it,” Crisostomo said.

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