Press Release
March 9, 2021

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, on the 2020 unemployment rate of 10.3% or about 4.5 million unemployed workers

The only way to revive the economy and restore jobs and opportunities, especially for our workers and our MSMEs is hinged on the immediate roll out of the vaccination program. It cannot be overemphasized that our essential workers---our economic frontliners---be next in the vaccination line after medical frontliners. Before our workers can roll up their sleeves to work, they must roll them up to get their shots.

From a fiscal point of view, vaccines which give permanent protection are cheaper than a one-time ayuda. No matter how you compute it, what is to be injected in their arms is cheaper than any cash assistance that the government may want to put in their pockets. The help our workers need from our government is not money that can tide them over a week, but gainful employment and livelihood that can only come after they have been vaccinated.

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