Press Release
March 23, 2006

Urges fresh graduates to be enterprising and entrepreneurial

Senator Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, says that with the worsening unemployment and underemployment situation in the country, fresh graduates would be well advised to be doubly enterprising and entrepreneurial.

"I do not want to be a prophet of doom here but graduates this school year should brace themselves for tough times ahead as they search for good jobs. Needless to say, there is a scarcity of job opportunities especially in certain fields of profession," says Villar.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), expected to graduate this month and next month are 1,585,273 elementary students; 879,227 high school students; and 447,847 college students.

"Nearly half a million students are projected to graduate from various colleges and universities nationwide, that's good news. The bad news is that these fresh graduates are expected to join the ranks of unemployed or underemployed Filipinos," cites Villar.

"There are even reports that say that a huge number of the graduates from the previous year or school year 2004-2005 are still out there looking for jobs. Now they will be joined by hundreds of thousands more. So it would really be tough for jobseekers especially inexperienced ones," further cites Villar.

According to the National Statistics Office (NSO) National Labor Force Survey, 2.8 million Filipinos were unemployed in January this year, translating to an 8.1 percent unemployment rate.

Villar adds, "I have always maintained that a long-term solution to the unemployment and underemployment situation is to encourage more entrepreneurs from among our people, especially the new graduates. We need more job providers. New generation of entrepreneurs can create jobs for more Filipinos."

An outspoken proponent of entrepreneurship and the principles of 'sipag at tiyaga' (hardwork and persistence), Villar has been promoting entrepreneurship as along-term solution to the country's economic woes, particularly in the labor and employment front.

Villar is also proposing entrepreneurship to be taught in schools extensively. According to Villar, "Entrepreneurial education infused in our school system would remove the old archetype of Philippine schools preparing students to be employees. Entrepreneurial education should start at the earliest level. I believe that entrepreneurs are made, not born. Thus we should start them young."

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