Press Release
April 30, 2010

Villar vows end to 'waste of youth talent'

Eight in 10 of those without jobs in the country are in the ages 34 and below, prompting Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar to pledge that his administration will focus on "ending this great waste of youth talent."

Villar, who parlayed a truckload of sand and cement into a mass housing conglomerate, described youth unemployment as "one of our great national tragedies today."

"The face of the unemployed today is the face of a young person," Villar said.

He cited official statistics, which revealed that 29 percent of the 2.8 million unemployed last January were in the 25-34 age bracket, and 51 percent were between ages 15 and 24.

"We have an army of 2.3 million unemployed - but employable - youth," Villar said, buttressing his contention on their employability with yet another disturbing statistics that "almost four in 10 of those without jobs had college education."

He lamented the fact that over "500,000 college graduates are idle when they can be tapped by an economy that can boom under a good leader."

If elected president, Villar said he will implement a "raft of programs" that will lick the unemployment problem and unlock the full potential of the nation's human capital.

"First is to restore business confidence by creating an investment climate, which guarantees rules that are fair, regulations that are not changeable and a government that assures level competition," Villar said.

"Needless to say, a government that is clean and tolerates no corruption is an investment-booster, and I will make sure that I will lead one," Villar stressed.

He added that he will align available public resources so that would-be entrepreneurs will have the capital and the support to activate their business plans. "Why become an employee when one can be an entrepreneur?"

Another job generator, according to Villar, is the P230-billion public infrastructure budget, which he vowed to increase in the years ahead, "so capital outlays would yield more jobs."

Recognizing education's role in "molding the nation's human resources," Villar said he would pour more money into education "because the country's competitiveness depends on the quality of what its educational system produces."

"In this regard, we must fix the education and jobs mismatch. One of the many remedies to this disconnect is to spend more for science and engineering subjects, courses, teachers and schools," Villar said.

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