Solon urges gov’t to implement emergency employment program

By Cielito M. Reganit

MANILA, Feb. 12 (PNA) — Reacting to the reported survey result showing a 27.4 percent unemployment rate in the country, a Quezon City lawmaker on Wednesday urged the government to come out with an emergency employment program to immediately reduce the ranks of jobless Filipinos.

Rep. Winston Castelo said that “a simple and easy to implement emergency employment program appears to be the best recourse at this time to immediately arrest the worsening issue of unemployment.”

“Failure to immediately act on this serious issue would be criminal,” he stressed as he urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to come out with an emergency employment scheme in a month’s time.

Castelo added that the emergency program should last until President Benigno S. Aquino III ends his term in 2016.

For a start, the lawmaker proposed that such program should center on major cities and certain rural areas that have the highest unemployment rate.

“It would also be ideal to include all the areas that have been subjected to recent calamities, but the program should not be limited to these areas,” Castelo said.

For the long term, he said that a congressional inquiry in aid of legislation would be necessary to lay down appropriate policies to address the issue.

“We have to sit down with our congressional colleagues and consult with DOLE officials so that we can come out with the proper policy mix that would address unemployment in the medium and long term,” Castelo said. (PNA)