Press Release
March 17, 2010

Villar to underemployed: 'Be your own boss'

Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar yesterday urged the seven million Filipinos reportedly underemployed to take up the challenge of entrepreneurship.

"They have the desire and they have the time. They have to fuel that drive with lots of hard work and perseverance to achieve success. Nothing beats being your own boss," Villar said.

Villar issued the statement in reaction to an NSO report of lower unemployment rate, but higher underemployed Filipinos in January. Employed persons who express desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed, the report said.

The January 2010 Labor Force Survey showed that employment rate slightly increased to 92.7 percent from 92.3 percent of January last year. Underemployment, meanwhile, rose to 19.7 percent compared to 18.2-percent January 2009 figure. This is equivalent to an estimated 7.1 million Filipinos considered to be unemployed.

"I've always maintained that a legion of entrepreneur warriors is the key to our economic future. And that applies to all cross section of our society - men, women, and even new graduates who will be willing to take charge of their future and maximize their potential. We have to develop and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship," Villar added.

If elected president, Villar said his administration will prioritize an entrepreneur-friendly and entrepreneur-ready environment, which will include funneling credit to small and medium-scale enterprises.

"The next administration should ensure that all available resources, assistance, expertise and support are made available to them - through micro-financing and other funding programs, through infrastructure support, and most of all through proper guidance and governance," he added.

Of the seven million underemployed persons, around four million were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for about 40 percent.

Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (46.7 percent) and services sector (39.0 percent). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 14.3 percent.

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