Davao offers temporary jobs as unemployment soars nationwide

Jun. 16, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – As the nation deals with rising unemployment and failing economy due to the prolonged lockdown and the pandemic, the city government here has allotted Php160 million for short term jobs.

The City Government of Davao announced Monday its emergency employment program called “Work for Davao” which targets to hire 42,000 people. The specific jobs have yet to be finalized.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio explained that this program will be very short. “It is very short term; they will work for 10 days at Php 396 a day,” she said.

The Mayor explained that the budget for this program worth Php 159,944,000 will come from the Department of Budget and Management as what they had requested last year.

Aside from this job assistance, the City announced its Php 50 million Eskwela Davao project to assist children of residents who have lost income or employment from kinder level up to senior high school.

Presidential Commission of the Urban Poor Commissioner Norman Baloro is tasked to oversee the project.

The Department of Labor Region 11 has expected 10,000 establishments to close down soon in Davao Region, which comprised of five provinces, which affects hundreds and thousands of workers.

This week, Davao City’s lone five-star hotel, Marco Polo, closed operations indefinitely because of the dwindling tourism industry, displacing 270 workers.

The research group IBON Foundation said the country is facing the worst crisis in unemployment in history.

While government reports unemployment in the country at 7.3 million and underemployment at 6.4 million, IBON said real unemployment is likely around 14 million or 22% of the country’s total workforce if they include the 4.1 million Filipinos who did not formally enter the labor force during the enhanced community quarantine.

They also point out the “drastic drop in labor force participation rate” to 55.6 percent.

IBON said the government’s economic recovery program lacks measures to assist farmers and low-income households while giving up to Php 660 billion in tax breaks for corporations.

They point out the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) approved by the House of Representatives with a Php 1.2 trillion package allocates Php 40 billion for cash-for-work programs, Php 110 billion for wage subsidies, Php 135 billion for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and Php 4 billion for education subsidies.

IBON urges the government to prioritize low-income workers to stimulate the economy.

“Government recovery plans need to give much greater direct income support to the poor and low-income households. This is both direct support for families’ welfare as well as a meaningful stimulus that increases effective demand in the economy,” IBON said. (davaotoday.com)

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