Press Release
May 12, 2020

Villar Supports BSP Chief's Reco of Providing 'Emergency Employment' to Filipinos

Senator Cynthia Villar expresses support to the recommendation of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno for the government to provide 'emergency employment' to Filipinos to stimulate the country's so-called 'new economy' and to ease the effects of the pandemic to people.

According to Diokno, as the government moves into the next phase of the road to the 'New Economy' it should focus on a quick disbursing, employment- creating program. The former budget secretary said the budget can be increased by a percentage or two, equivalent to ?200 billion to ?400 billion that could be used for emergency employment and create two million jobs.

"I agree with BSP Chief Diokno that our next priority after the health and safety of our people is providing employment to as many Filipinos as possible. That's what people need right now to feed their families," said Villar.

The senator has earlier recommended the opening of labor-intensive sectors such as agriculture, construction and manufacturing to avoid social unrest since many Filipinos are getting agitated due to lack of income or livelihood.

Diokno said the two million jobs will be dispersed throughout the country. And the workers can get involved in green project such as cleaning of rivers, tree-planting, etc.), public works project (road maintenance, fortifying sea walls, social housing) agriculture or health projects (contact tracing, maintenance work in COVID-19 facilities, etc.). The workers will be paid 10 percent lower than the minimum wage rate in the region, will work for eight hours, five days a week, for seven months (June to December 2020).

"Most Filipinos would really rather go back to work than to wait for aid or relief goods. It is more empowering for them if we let them earn their upkeep. I agree with Diokno that it provides a greater sense of self respect," added Villar.

Known as Misis Hanepbuhay, Villar has always advocated job creation and livelihood generation to empower Filipinos especially the poor. Emergency employment according to her is a very timely solution as more employees or workers may be displaced due to the ongoing pandemic.

"We will be hitting two birds with one stone with this recommendation--provide employment and provide the needed impetus to our economy, both are urgently needed with the prolonged Covid-19 infection. Jobs have a multiplier effect to the economy," the senator added.

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