Press Release
June 24, 2020


Senator urges 'economic masterplan' to address unemployment

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday asked the Philippine government to address the rising unemployment among Filipinos, amid Malacañan's pronouncement that it is looking into proposals to allow foreigners working in state flagship projects to come to the country.

"Hire Filipinos first," Hontiveros said. "Milyon-milyong mga Pilipino ang nawalan ng kabuhayan at nagugutom sa ngayon. Daan-daang libong mga overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) din ang babalik sa bansa nang walang trabaho. Unahin natin sila," she urged, citing the latest data of 7.3 million jobless Filipinos and around 300,000-400,000 OFWs who will have to be repatriated due to loss of livelihood.

Job-skills matching

Hontiveros said that jobless Filipinos should be surveyed for their skills and matched with existing and future flagship projects. "Kailangan ng solusyon sa kawalan ng trabaho. We need to match skills to available and future jobs. The government has to step in as one of our major employers through its flagship projects while we are in crisis," the Senator explained.

Hontiveros also said that many of those who are unemployed are skilled. "Sa hanay pa lang ng mga bumabalik na OFWs, marami dito ay health workers, engineers, architects, at iba pa. The government needs to survey the population for it to properly address the looming unemployment crisis," she explained further.

Economic masterplan

Hontiveros also urged the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the economic cluster of the Cabinet "to quickly put together a masterplan that will generate new sources of employment and new investments that will be ready to replace those that have been lost."

The senator explained that investment in industries such as information and communication technology, agriculture, food manufacturing, the health sector, and urban-rural transport networks should be prioritized.

"We need to harness local skills and talent that are available to us. Siguraduhin muna nating may trabaho ang mga Pilipino, bago tayo magbukas ng trabaho sa iba," she concluded.

News Latest News Feed