Press Release
March 9, 2010

Villar unveils plan to bridge job gap

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar yesterday said the country's projected annual employment gap can be bridged by turning to entrepreneurship rather than waiting for the global economy to recover.

"I intend to make entrepreneurship a national policy because it readily addresses issues like employment, distribution of economic growth, and poverty. Promoting entrepreneurship is promoting self-sufficiency which is what Filipinos want," Villar said.

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said the country will need to generate 15 million quality jobs in the next five years, or about four million a year, to bridge the employment gap and elevate the country to newly industrialized status.

"Hindi na makakapag-antay ang Pilipino sa pagbangon ng pandaigdigang ekonomiya. The number of Filipinos getting poorer and those experiencing hunger continue to rise. We have to produce our own solutions and not wait for the global economy to recover," Villar explained.

The number of unemployed persons reached 2.8 million in 2009 representing an annual unemployment rate of 7.5 percent. The National Capital Region registering the highest unemployment rate of 12.8 percent among the 17 administrative regions.

Half of the estimated 35 million employed persons in 2009 were engaged in services, distributed mostly in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods.

About 35 percent of the employed were engaged in agriculture while the rest (14.5 percent) worked in the industry sector.

"In the short term, more funds will be allocated for financing entrepreneurial ventures under my presidency through government financial institutions and state firms in the form of a mini-stimulus package," Villar said.

Government agencies under the Departments of Trade and Industry, Finance, and Agriculture will be tasked to complement project monitoring and provide technical assistance where necessary.

In the medium-term, he explained that technical inputs including economic models specific to Philippine market conditions be integrated into the secondary and tertiary education levels.

In the long-term, Villar said he wants local government units to oversee the entrepreneurship program and allocate more funds for promoting more entrepreneurial ventures. LGUs can also coordinate with national agencies in behalf of entrepreneurs for business matching between buyers and sellers.

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