From Sun Jul 14 10:30:14 2002
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 10:31:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: IBON Reach Expansion Department <>
Subject: [ibon] Media Release July 5—Employment Indicators Prove
Article: 141706
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Employment indicators prove Gloria wrong on ‘sound’ macroeconomic policies

IBON Foundation, 9 July 2002

IBON Foundation, Inc. brushed aside President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's assertion that her administration has been able to steer the country to sound macroeconomic policies, saying recent employment indicators also prove that not everything is all right with the country's economy.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) April Labor Force Survey shows that the unemployment rate grew to 13.9% from 13.3% last year.

The underemployment rate also increased to 19.26% from 17.5% in the same period last year. This means, according to IBON Research Director Antonio Tujan Jr., that more and more Filipinos are not earning enough to meet their needs and thus, are seeking more work, or a second job.

The NSO also reported an increase in own-account workers, most of them in the service sector, to 11.4 million from 10.9 million a year earlier.

These self-employed workers are considered employed by government even if they do not engage in productive work, said Tujan. He also said that many of these self-employed workers are forced to fend for themselves due to the lack of economic opportunities in the country.

The NSO data also revealed that there was an increase in the number of unpaid family workers to 4.096 million from 4.096 million a year earlier. These are workers who help in their families' business or line or work, yet are not paid, according to IBON.

This increase also points out the lack of employment opportunities, since these workers would probably prefer to look for jobs to better help their families—if only there were jobs available, Tujan averred.

Tujan added that more people also lost their jobs due to an increase in closures in the first two months of the year.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that some 152 firms closed and 671 reduced their workforce. Total number of workers affected was 20, 962, a 79% increase from last year (see Table).

Tujan likewise belittled President Arroyo's Million Jobs Program, saying this program tied to the government's agricultural modernization policy is more of PR gimmick than a honest-to-goodness program to lick the unemployment problem.

Establishments Resorting to Permanent Closures/ Retrenchment Due to Economic Reasons and Workers Displaced: Philippines (January-February 2002-2001)

Firms Reporting ClosureWorkers Displaced
January-February 2002
January-February 2001

Source: DOLE

Tujan blamed the government's globalization thrust for the doubling in the numbers of firms reporting closure as they fail to compete with the influx of cheap exports. This means more bad news for Filipino workers, he said.

No wonder so many Filipinos choose to seek their fortunes abroad, Tujan added.

According to DOLE, some 2,500 Filipinos leave the country daily to seek employment or migrate elsewhere.n