Leody De Guzman proposes ‘aggressive’ jobs generation program to address rising unemployment rate

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2021 03:33 PM

Health workers and supporters under the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), led by their chairman and presidential candidate Ka Leody De Guzman, troop to the Senate in Pasay City on October 28, 2021, to demand a higher budget for the pandemic response. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Health workers and supporters under the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), led by their chairman and presidential candidate Ka Leody De Guzman, troop to the Senate in Pasay City on October 28, 2021, to demand a higher budget for the pandemic response. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Labor leader and presidential hopeful Leody De Guzman said Friday an “aggressive” jobs generation program would help address the rise of unemployment in the country.

This, after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the unemployment rate further accelerated last September to 4.25 million Filipinos or 8.9 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in August. 

De Guzman said such a situation is “unacceptable” claiming that “billionaires continue to grow their wealth.”

“The government should not yield job generation to the private sector. We have seen the consequences of that approach – the wealth created by workers was concentrated in the hands of a few billionaires and businessmen,” the labor leader said in a statement. 

“It is the government’s responsibility to address and resolve the crisis in livelihoods plaguing the majority, not maintaining or facilitating the profits of billionaires,” he added.

He noted that it is the government’s responsibility to address the issue of employment and the proposed public program is vital in order to “mold a national employment guarantee.”

“Whether there is a pandemic or not, the Filipino people face numerous problems. Addressing these problems will generate lots of jobs. While the crisis in health persists, more contact tracers, health facility personnel, primary care assistants, and other medical workers are needed,” he said. 

Aiming to reverse incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte's politics, De Guzman vows to end contractualization and raise the minimum wage of workers across the board to P750 per day, placing provincial workers on par with their Metro Manila counterparts.

De Guzman is among 97 individuals who filed their candidacy for President in the 2022 elections.

The other presidential aspirants include Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, and former presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

The Commission on Elections will trim the list in the coming months to remove those found to be nuisance candidates.

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