July 22, 2017, 12:50 pm
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12M new jobs

EITHER the Duterte administration is more than sure that its growth targets for the economy are attainable, through the “build, build, build” approach coupled with high government revenues to be delivered by legislated tax reforms.

This comes to mind in the wake of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd’s announcement that there will be 12 million new jobs by the end of the Duterte administration.

Bello made the statement at the Dutertenomics forum in Beijing Monday, stressing that the “golden age of infrastructure” would bring the needed push for the nation’s growth.

According to Bello, the government plans to spend P8.4 trillion on infrastructure projects. This will increase the share of infrastructure spending in the gross domestic product from 5.4 percent this year to 7.4 percent in 2022.

Past presidents had promised -- and tried hard -- to send home the OFWs with assurances of availability of steady jobs and good pay for them in the Philippines. These plans did not see the light of day for various reasons, the most major of which is the inability of the economy to generate jobs for the old and new members of the labor force.

If the Duterte administration’s projections are attained, they will be known as the government which successfully implemented the back-to-Manila dream for OFWs.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia noted that Filipino workers abroad possess the needed technical skills for the massive infrastructure building program. While this is true, the greater challenge is how to give them the kind of salaries they get abroad, to entice and convince them to stay.

The government and the private sector must work together to sort out this problem of wages. 

The government’s push to create more jobs is worthy of everybody’s support.
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