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Gov’t acts on adult joblessness

The government is reopening the Philippine economy to address the unemployment in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Malacañang said yesterday.

“This is the reason why we need to reopen our economy, so we can generate more jobs for our fellow countrymen. We can do that,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Roque gave the assurance, as he said the Palace is “saddened” over the results of the Social Weather Stations’ Nov. 21 to 25, 2020 survey which showed that adult joblessness in the country is at 27.3 percent.

The SWS poll found that around 27.3 percent or 12.7 million Filipinos are unemployed in November 2020.

“First and foremost, we are saddened that the number of jobless Filipinos has yet to go down from the average joblessness rate that we have recorded before Covid-19 hit the country,” Roque said.

The number of jobless Filipinos in November last year is lower than the 39.5 percent or 23.7 million Filipinos reported unemployed in September the same year.

The decline in the national joblessness rate was due to decreases of 33 percentage points in the Visayas (19.1 percent from record-high 52 percent), 23 percentage points in Mindanao (17 percent from 40 percent), 2 percentage points in Metro Manila (37.8 percent from 39.9 percent), and 1 percentage point in Balance Luzon (32.7 percent from 33.5 percent).

Roque said it is still a relief that adult joblessness in the country eased in November 2020.

“We somehow find solace in the fact that joblessness eased in the country. It reached a record-high 45.5 percent in July 2020, and eased to 39.5 percent in September, and now it’s now 27.3 percent,” he said.

In a public address Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public that his administration is doing its best to keep the Philippine economy afloat.

Duterte issued the statement, as he acknowledged that the country’s economy is “sinking deeper and deeper” into recession amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on livelihood and business.

Duterte also cited Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III’s report that Filipino workers lose a daily income amounting to P2 billion due to the implementation of strict health and quarantine protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country’s economic team has expressed optimism that the Philippine economy will recover this year as the government intends to launch its mass vaccination drive starting this month.*PNA

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