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Needed: Jobs For The Unskilled
The two-pronged approach, according to Neda Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan, could help the country revive its industrial sector.
After all, high-skilled jobs, such as those offered in call centers, are not open to farmers, fishermen or street vendors who have very low or no skills at all.
By reviving the industry sector where many jobs require manual labor and low skills, such as assembly-line operations, the Philippines can make employment available to many Filipinos now in the informal sector, majority of whom now live below the poverty line.
The Neda chief noted that while the country’s economic growth drivers are similar to those of a developed country where the services sector dominates in terms of its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), many Filipinos remain poor.
Creating more jobs for the unskilled—who make up the poor and the very poor sections of the population—is imperative if the country wants to make a significant dent in reducing poverty.
The Philippines has actually lagged behind its neighbors in Southeast Asia in reducing poverty even as its economic expansion mostly kept pace the past two decades. Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service all rate the country below investment grade because of our sluggish revenue growth. More money in the national treasury would allow the government to invest in human capital, education and health, which will eventually lead to reduction in poverty rates and a better quality of life for the marginalized sectors of society.
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