MANILA – Malacañang expressed confidence on Tuesday that the government’s three-pronged strategy would help create more job opportunities for unemployed Filipinos.
This, after the country recorded around 4.14 million jobless Filipinos in April this year, higher than the 3.44 million registered in March the same year.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the rise in the number of unemployed Filipinos came no longer a surprise since stricter quarantine restrictions had been imposed in the past months due to rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.
“Hindi po nakakapagtaka kung bakit tumaas ulit ang unemployment rate (It is not surprising why the unemployment rate rose anew),” he said.
Unemployment worsened to 8.7 percent in April from 7.1 percent in March, based on the results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) labor force survey released on Tuesday.
Filipinos were left jobless in April following the reimposition of stricter quarantine measures in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus, which is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The sudden spike in Covid-19 cases prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the NCR Plus under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11.
The quarantine status in NCR Plus was eventually downgraded to the modified enhanced community (MECQ) from April 12 to 30. To date, Metro Manila and its nearby provinces are now under the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 30.
Metro Manila reported the highest unemployment rate for April, which stood at 14.4 percent, the PSA said. This translates to 875,000 jobless Filipinos.
Roque expressed confidence that the further easing of quarantine restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic would give more Filipinos the opportunity to return to work.
“Lahat po ng mga datos na iyan, unfortunately ay dahil po sa pagsasara muli ng ekonomiya (The data, unfortunately, reflects the impact of the temporary closure of the economy),” he said. “Dahil nga po dito sa three-pronged strategy na ito, sa tingin ko, makakabawi tayo (But because of this three-pronged strategy, I think, we will recover).”
Roque was referring to the three strategies crafted by the country’s economic team to stimulate job creation.
The three strategies include the safe reopening of the economy, the full implementation of the recovery package, and the timely implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination program. (PNA)