June 16, 2010
Sa totoo lang, PGMA made more people jobless than the past three presidents combined.
This was the statement of Kilusang Mayo Uno as the Arroyo administration hypes its accomplishments that supposedly surpassed the previous three regimes, and the release of latest data by the National Statistics Office (NSO) revealing an 8 percent unemployment rate for April.
Truth in numbers
NSO data claims the 8 percent jobless rate, a two-year high, translates to 3.1 million jobless Filipinos. But independent think-tank Ibon Foundation says that jobless people already number at 4.3 million in January of this year, correcting the government’s effort of erasing those not looking for jobs from the labor force.
The NSO April data also showed that the total labor force was reduced by 300 thousand from January to April 2010.
“How can the labor force be reduced by hundreds of thousands in that period when hundreds of thousands of new graduates also entered the labor force? The Arroyo regime twists data to great extents just to boost its claims of leaving a ‘legacy of a strong, stable nation,’ but numbers that spell out the crisis still show the truth,” said KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.
With an average of 4 million jobless a year under Arroyo, her annual record is still higher than those of former presidents Joseph Estrada (3.17 million), Fidel Ramos (2.58 million), and Corazon Aquino (2.28 million).
“Arroyo has consistently implemented policies that favor big businesses at the expense of workers’ job security, policies that legitimize widespread mass lay-offs, contractualization, outsourcing and other job irregularization schemes that have become the new rules for employment. She has further eroded job opportunities in the country,” Labog said.
“The state of massive joblessness, whichis part of Arroyo’s ugly legacies, should push the incoming Aquino administration toenact real changes in terms of job security,” Labog added.
“While it is good that Noynoy was able to recite specific employment data in his first press conference, his stand on job generation is ‘dangerously safe.’ He said he must study data further before making any decisions. The problem, however, is so clear for him to urgently reverse Arroyo’s policies on labor and economy,” Labog warned. (Bulatlat.com)
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson