Gov't urged: Appoint Balik-Trabaho czar to address unemployment

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2020 01:01 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2020 05:03 PM

Jeepney drivers serving the Monumento-Malabon route beg for money along the road in Caloocan City on August 8, 2020 amid the modified enhanced community quarantine. The drivers return to begging under MECQ after their route and other select routes was previously allowed to operate under GCQ. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros is urging the executive branch to appoint a "Balik-Trabaho Czar" (Back to Work czar) to help solve unemployment woes in the country after several businesses were forced shut by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Sa ngayon, hindi malinaw kung sinong opisyal ng pamahalaan ang dapat nakatutok sa pagbuo at pagbalik ng trabaho para sa ating mga kababayan," Hontiveros said during budget deliberations in the Senate.

(As of now, it is not clear which government official is in charge of creating and bringing back jobs for our countrymen.)

"Tutal mahilig ang Malacañang sa pag-aapoint ng czar sa iba't ibang bahagi ng Covid-19 response, sana ay may italaga din ng 'Balik Trabaho Czar' na magsisikap na ibalik ang trabaho ng milyong-milyong Pilipino ngayong panahon ng krisis," she said.

(Since Malacañang is fond of appoining czars for different parts of the COVID-19 response, I hope they can also appoint a 'Back-to-Work' czar who will work hard to bring back jobs for millions of Filipinos during this crisis.)

If the unemployment problem is not solved immediately, it will lead to hunger and more out of school youth, Hontiveros said.

"The unemployment crisis may not be an infectious disease like COVID-19, but it is spreading fast like one in communities nationwide," she said.

"This is an urgent problem that seriously needs utmost attention from government," she said.

About 4.6 million Filipinos were jobless as of July, according to official government data.