By Chito Chavez
A militant labor group described as erroneous and deceitful a Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) report claiming a 94.9 percent employment rate increase and unemployment rate decline of 5.1 percent.
The report covered the months under the electoral campaign season which provided millions of temporary jobs as campaigners and poll watchers from late last year to mid-May of this year.
Leody de Guzman, president of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), also labelled the PSA report as ridiculous, far from the truth and an insult to the intelligence of the Filipino people.
The Commission on Election (Comelec) recorded that around 43,000 candidates vied for almost 18,000 local positions alone from “House the Representative to Governor to City or municipal councilor’’.
The BMP said assuming that each candidate conservatively employed a hundred poll campaigners and watchers that would total to 4.3 million temporary work generated.
“It can be easily deduced that candidates for national positions such as senators and partylist representatives employed more campaigners than the local candidates due to the wider scope of their campaign,’’ the group said.
After the elections, de Guzman said 4.3 million Filipinos were left unemployed.
“This is the same reason behind the decreased inflation rates during the campaign season’’, he added.
De Guzman noted the “temporary work and sharp increase in spending cushioned the impacts of the administration’s anti-people economic policies’’.
BMP said it expects the unemployment and inflation rates to spike in the next reports of the concerned agencies.
“We call on the government to address the perennial problem of unemployment. It has to increase employment opportunities in agriculture and industry if it only veers away from its tacit policy of export oriented, import dependent track of economic development. The government must prioritize the modernization of agriculture and the industrialization of the economy,’’ the BMP concluded.