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TUCP alarmed by high underemployment rate

June 19, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 176 views

A large group of workers expressed concern over the high underemployment rate which increased to 12.9 percent in April from 11.2 percent in March.

However, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) welcomed the increase in employment and the decrease in number of unemployed.

“We are stuck at double digits for far too long already. 2.26 million are out of work while the 6.20 million employed are still seeking additional work because their measly salaries, further depressed by inflation, are no longer enough to feed their families and lead decent lives,” the TUCP said in a statement.

The World Bank noted that low-quality jobs threaten the Philippines’ growth as precarious work — contractualization, ENDO work, low-end gig work, informal work, and job sharing/rotation without living wages and without security of tenure — persists, the TUCP said.

The group added that the economic managers cannot solely rely on the reopening of the economy, the private sector for job creation and of ending precarious work to mere chance.

The TUCP said the government must be at the forefront of uplifting the lives of millions trapped in poverty through decent work for all and the economic managers must step up their game.

No less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is leading in establishing the Philippines as a priority investment destination through his earnest efforts to bring in foreign direct investments (FDIs) which should translate into hundreds of thousands of new, permanent, and decent jobs for Filipinos.

Based on the March 2023 Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, 19 percent of the labor force or 8.7 million adult Filipinos are jobless while about 69 percent of Filipino adults also say that finding a job these days is hard, which has been the case since 2011.

The TUCP pointed out that Marcos forged the US-Philippines special friendship and alliance which will potentially bring in billions of dollars of investment which will translate into new, permanent, and decent jobs.

Marcos also secured US President Biden’s commitment to send a presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines.

Next year, the sixth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF)—an international gathering of business and government leaders—will be held in Manila.

The President is also pushing for the reauthorization of the US GSP which will open up tariff-free access of Philippine exports to the American market for potentially 3,500 product lines and open up new job opportunities.

The President is also pitching for the resumption of the negotiations for the Philippine EU Free Trade Agreement (PH-EU FTA) as well as pushing for the renewal of the EU GSP+ set to expire by the end of 2023. The EU GSP+ provides the Philippines’ tariff-free access to over 6,274 product lines to the EU market which translates to around 200,000 decent jobs.