“The trend in rising unemployment is clear proof of the government’s regressive economic and labor policies.”

This is what Arman Hernando, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights coordinator for documentation said in reaction to the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS) that revealed an increase in unemployment rate from 7% in July 2012 up to 7.3% in July 2013.

Hernando noted that the latest survey underlines the paradox of growth, “[w]hile the country’s GDP is steadily growing, there is also a trend in increased unemployment rate,” pointing out a rise in unemployment rate for the last two quarters.

The group explained that Aquino’s economic policies favoring foreign capital and promoting neoliberal globalization effectively “stunt” job-generating sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing and result to increased unemployment.

Hernando also chided the government’s passive role in providing employment opportunities to “able and willing” Filipinos. “The government has relegated its role from job generation to mere employment facilitation. Other than inviting foreign investors and exporting Filipinos abroad, the Aquino government has no concrete policy on how it will create jobs,” Hernando added.

Unemployment and depressed wages are clear manifestations of social injustice perpetuated by current policies, the group further stressed.

“Take for instance, wage. While the government is so stringent in regulating wage hike on the one hand, it is giving so much freedom in terms of tax breaks among other incentives to capitalists on the other hand. But despite so much effort in keeping wages low, it appears that investors fail to bring in enough jobs for Filipinos since unemployment is still on the rise.” Hernando pointed out.

The group concluded that only a progressive economic policy aimed at developing and supporting national industries will end the job crisis and generate sufficient and decent work for Filipinos.###