April 24, 2013
The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) blasted the Labor Day job fairs announced by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as a “job farce.” “These job fairs are a gimmick to cover up the truth that government is not doing anything significant to solve mass unemployment,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.
He explained that job fairs are simply job facilitation instead of job generation. “The government is propagating the myth that the problem is job mismatch and thus the solution is job matching and facilitation. Yet the figures do not lie—the unemployment rate remains at 7%, meaning some three million Filipinos are jobless. Millions more are not officially counted as unemployed because they not anymore looking for work after months and years of desperately looking for non-existent jobs,” Magtubo lamented.
He added that “Even a college diploma does not help since 17% of the unemployed are tertiary graduates. The 400,000 jobs allegedly being offered at the May 1 job fairs will not even suffice to provide employment for the 530,000 college graduates who entered the labor force this April.”
“Despite the much-vaunted 6.6% increase in gross domestic product last year and the 5% average rate even before, the unemployment rate and poverty incidence has remained high. Jobless GNP growth means Gutom Na Pilipino for the masses,” Magtubo avowed.
He insisted that “In fact job fairs are even contributing to joblessness since human resources personnel of private companies are being retrenched because their work has been outsourced to the Labor Department and public employment service offices of local governments.”
“Stop the Labor Day job fairs gimmick. This publicity stunt was invented during the illegitimate reign of Gloria Arroyo and has been continued by the administration of Noynoy Aquino albeit his anti-GMA stance. Gloria the economics teacher and PNoy the diligent student do not differ in their blind belief in the neoliberal dogma of the free market. Yet the private sector has historically failed in providing full employment,” Magtubo argued.
PM is advocating a paradigm shift in the economic policy of the government as a step towards resolving the jobs crisis. “In the short-term, the government will have to embark on a public employment program to provide gainful work to the millions of unemployed and underemployed. In the long-term, the country needs an economic policy and plan that will result in the development of domestic labor-intensive agriculture and industry,” Magtubo elaborated.