Although the Philippines is one of the countries in Southeast Asia whose workforce is competitive in terms of the skilled workers and mostly good English speakers, this does not translate to the recent statistics of millions of jobless Filipinos who seem to join the bandwagon of unemployed and underemployed.
The country’s National Statistics Office showed that around nine million Filipinos are either seeking job opportunities locally and abroad or looking for additional job opportunities to survive the rising prices of commodities.
This number is quite alarming since every year the country is producing more graduates of different courses. As others remain unemployed, the competition for an entry level position becomes tough as more would want to take that job.
Not only that, the Asian Development Bank confirmed that the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that has the highest unemployment rate. As this happens, more families become victims of poverty as they are not able to sustain the trying times of having a stable breadwinner in the family.
The country may have experienced a 7.3 percent economic growth, but this is not an indication that the poverty line has decreased. Many Filipinos remain hungry and only employees in the industry sector have gained greater stability in earnings. One of the culprits in the unemployment level in the country is the low public and private investments coming in to the country.
No wonder why many of my fellow Filipinos are making their way of leaving their families behind to seek international employment. It is indeed better to work abroad to get some food to eat at the table or simply struggle daily while the salary received from the employer in the country will just be too stiff for the budget.
It is about time for the Philippine government to reexamine its programs toward creating jobs that will reduce the unemployment problem in the country. The poor situation of unemployed Filipinos can never be taken for granted.
At the same time, the problem of educating families on producing babies whom they can only take care of should be strengthened. Family planning strategies must come in the open to give a better idea of controlling their family size. Population explosion is a big factor to consider in a country like the Philippines.