When it rains, it pours.
Coming on the heels of a report from the National Statistical Coordination Board that poverty alleviation in the country remains a pipe dream is an observation—from a government think tank no less—that job-creation facilitation programs are not enough to prop up employment in the Philippines.
In a quarterly report, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said rapid and constructive productivity improvements in job-creating sectors should be pursued.
It noted that whenever the challenge of a poor track record in reducing unemployment is raised, the government cites job-creation programs.
These creators include the Special Program for the Employment of Students, which provides short-term employment to poor but deserving students and out-of-school youth, and the Community-Based Employment Program that gives short-term employment for workers who are in distress and displaced by calamities and natural disasters.
Citing a previous study, PIDS said the revival of the manufacturing sector is an effective strategy to curb unemployment and makes economic growth more inclusive.
“The same study shows that productivity in the manufacturing sector is historically 2.5 times higher than in the services sector and five times higher than in the agriculture sector,” according to the report.
The government think tank also noted that low-skilled workers in the manufacturing sector, on average, have higher wages than their counterparts in the service sector.
“There is strong basis, therefore, in promoting the revival of the manufacturing sector to help alleviate poverty and increase employment,” PIDS said.
Among countries in Southeast Asia, it further noted, the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate. –Jennifer A. Ng / Reporter, BUsinessmirror