Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed the higher than expected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter at 6.4 per cent but urged the Aquino administration to push for growth in sectors that provide quality and decent jobs.
He said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced that the first three quarters are expected to be growth periods for the economy particularly in the business process outsourcing, manufacturing and food sectors.
The 6.4 per cent GDP growth is higher than the government’s 5-6 per cent full year target for 2012, according to the NEDA.
“We believe in growth that is felt by the people on the ground, growth that creates jobs and bring food to the poor,” said Cayetano in a statement.
He said economic experts should also look into growth sectors that provide decent and quality jobs, citing the rising number of people in vulnerable employment or known as informal sector now at 17 million.
Cayetano said majority of these people in the vulnerable employment are in the agriculture, one of the most neglected sectors in the Philippines.
Also, he also said economic and labor experts should also prioritize giving jobs to the 1.42 million Filipino jobless youth ages 15-24.
Apart from the 1.42 million unemployed youth, the Labor Force Survey of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said in 2010, a total of 2.27 million of Filipino youth are in vulnerable employment.
Vulnerable employment as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) are own account workers, mostly in hazardous work conditions and do not have social and medical benefits. Such job category in the Philippines includes those food vendors, small store owners, bottled water vendors.