Press Release
February 22, 2013


Senator Alan Cayetano said that the SWS survey reflecting that Filipinos are less optimistic about finding jobs is a wake up call for the government in spite of its successful economic streak.

"While we applaud the economic growth that we have been seeing, we need to recognize the voice of the man on the street about this frustration," Cayetano said today in Dagupan where he visited fisherfolk.

In Cayetano's discussion with the fisherfolk of Dagupan, he found out how the local bangus fishing industry has been suffering due to high prices, low income, and lack of opportunity.

"This is not the first time that I have heard about this frustration. This is a sentiment I have heard from every sector from Tondo to Albay and that is just in the past two weeks," lamented the senator as he confirmed the findings of the said SWS survey.

Cayetano has been holding discussions with different sectors of society as part of his listening tour for his advocacy related to PiTiK: Presyo, Trabaho, Kita.

He recalled that in his visit to Cebu just last week, the furniture factory workers in the area revealed a loss of 30,000 jobs in the furniture industry alone. His discussions with market vendors, fishermen, farmers and drivers have also yielded the same information.

Cayetano explained that if the government works more on making the country's 6.6 percent GDP growth felt by all then the problem of unemployment would be solved. "It's ironic that we've had such stellar economic growth yet a million Filipinos are still left without jobs," he said citing the findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that over 1 million Filipinos lost their jobs in the period of 2011-2012.

However, Cayetano reminded the public that now is not the time to criticize the government. "This government promised to generate 1 million jobs for us during that period and they did. In fact they generated more - 1.156 million new jobs in 2011 alone," he said.

Instead, he suggested that the government should invest more in modernizing and supporting local industries such as agriculture and furniture-making to address the employment needs of the new members of the country's working force.

"We could have such a bright future in the agriculture industry if we only give them the support they need," Cayetano stressed. "Our rice and coconut farming industry can be the best in the world. The same goes for industries such as fishing. Our government needs to focus on making specific industries grow, such as making Cebu the furniture capital of Asia or Bicol the coconut hub of the region."

Cayetano is set to proceed to Baguio this weekend to talk to local farmers and market vendors and to take part in the Panagbenga Festival.

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