High unemployment blamed on lack of industrialization policy

Nov. 03, 2012

Media Release
29 October 2012

One of the highest in Asia
High unemployment blamed on lack of industrialization policy

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) blamed today the government’s lack of an industrialization policy for the widespread unemployment in the country which, according to a government agency, is one of the highest in Asia.

Jose Ramon Albert, secretary-general of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), said that the country’s unemployment level, aside from being one of the highest in Asia, has remain unchanged for the past 10 years together with the country’s other poverty indicators.

“The Arroyo and Aquino governments’ policy of attracting foreign investors to generate employment in the country has repeatedly been proven a failure in generating sufficient employment for Filipinos.  It has only resulted in a Cheap Labor Policy that is causing greater poverty and hunger among workers and the poor,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“What the country really needs is an industrialization program that stands on a land reform program.  Only these policies are capable of ending chronic unemployment and creating sufficient jobs for Filipinos,” he added.

“The Aquino government is continuing previous governments’ subservience to foreign lending institutions that dictate the country to rely on foreign investments.  As a result, manufacturing remains on a low level, the country remains largely agricultural, and unemployment remains chronic,” he said.

The NSCB head contrasted unemployment and poverty in the country with those in China and Vietnam which saw a significant reduction in the past decade.  He noted how manufacturing in the two countries improved in the last 10 years and resulted in the reduction of unemployment.

“We cannot simply emulate China and Vietnam because there are not enough foreign investments to go around, especially amidst the severe economic crisis besetting the world today.  In a sense, their success is our failure,” Labog said.

“While China and Vietnam show that manufacturing is crucial in creating jobs and improving people’s lives, we have to carve out our own development path to boost manufacturing.  Most countries in the world have failed to develop manufacturing because of reliance on foreign investments,” he added.

“Also, we need decent employment, not just employment.  China and Vietnam may have increased their employment levels because of foreign investment-driven growth in manufacturing, but the jobs provided still cannot be classified as decent,” Labog concluded.

For reference
Elmer “Bong” Labog
KMU chairperson

comments powered by Disqus