Providing local employment, not overseas, must be focus of gov't

22 March 2016

Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today said the government must focus on providing local employment opportunities, not overseas employment, for the Filipino people by stimulating the economy through massive public investments and fine-tuning policies conducive to growth of private businesses.

Marcos, speaking during the Radyo Inquirer Issues 990 Forum on “Unemployment and Scarcity of Job Opportunities” held at the Rizal Triangle in Olongapo City , said there should be a shift of providing local employment rather than looking for jobs outside of the country.

“I believe these are the things that would help us grow our economy and generate more jobs so that we need not export 5,000 Filipinos daily,” said Marcos.

He said to carry this out, the top priority of the government should be to craft a massive infrastructure development plan to provide the necessary infrastructure for private businesses to flourish.

The senator stated that the infrastructure program must be “business-driven” or meant to answer the needs of business. And for this to happen, Marcos said the government must consult the private sector in the crafting of infrastructure development plan.

“We must strengthen the partnership between the government and the private sector,” said Marcos.

Marcos said the government’s infrastructure program should include not only the usual roads and bridges but also power generation and communication, particularly Internet connectivity.

“We used to think of the Internet as something for fun only. Not anymore. More business now is conducted online than actual face-to-face transactions. That is why it is crucial for us to improve our Internet connectivity,” he stressed.

Likewise, Marcos said the government must fine-tune policies to provide better support for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (SMSMEs) in terms of available credit facilities and appropriate training, as they provide around 60 percent of employment for our people.

Providing adequate, reliable and cheap electricity alone, according to Marcos, will also encourage foreign-direct investment in the country which would generate more jobs.

But Marcos said the government should also adopt a more stable fiscal and monetary policy and improve bureaucratic procedures to make it easier for both foreign and local companies to establish business in the country.

Marcos added that the government and the private sector should also join hands to ensure the training courses in schools and vocational centers match the jobs that the private sector would need.