March 23, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) challenged the presidentiables to reveal their jobs policy as unemployment is expected to rise by April with the influx of new graduates to the labor force.
“We ask the presidentiables to present a jobs policy that will address the grave problem of unemployment in general and youth joblessness in particular Of the estimated half a million graduates this March, more than 90,000 will not be able to find work despite investing four or five years and a fortune in a college education,” declared Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
Magtubo issued his challenge during the PM national congress that is being held at the Oblates Missionary Center in Quezon City. The two-day congress ends today with the election of five nominees from among 120 delegates from different chapters nationwide.
Magtubo based his assertion on the National Statistics Office’s (NSO) April 2005 unemployment data of 18.5% for graduates. “Despite possessing a shiny new college diploma, graduates are only marginally better off than undergraduates whose unemployment rate is 21%,” he added.
To generate decent jobs, PM is advocating a short-term program of massive public employment program and a long-term reorientation of economic and trade policy away from liberalization. “The present emergency employment program must be made more widespread to employ millions but should also be reformed. People’s organizations not local politicians must administer the public employment program so that it will not be used for patronage and it must promote decent work instead of worsening contractualization. But a strategic jobs policy demands the political will to reverse liberalization, deregulation and privatization, and to uphold domestic industry and agriculture,” Magtubo explained.
Magtubo furthered that “The graduates of 2010 are only 12% of the 100 school age kids approximately 14 years ago who have survived the education system. Of these 12 out of 100, seven will take a licensure exam but only three will pass. Of the three, only one will find profession that fits his or her education. The rest will find work that has nothing to do with their college course.”