MORE WORKERS DISPLACED; UNEMPLOYMENT, POVERTY WORSENED

More workers are losing their jobs due to closure of companies nationwide, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday. Data from DOLE’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) indicated an increasing number of displaced workers due to company closure. Although there were fewer establishments that filed notices of closure since 2011, BLES showed the number of affected workers has increased in the past three years. Based on preliminary data, BLES recorded a total of 36,639 displaced workers due to closure of 1,925 establishments in 2013. The figure was significantly higher than the 35,526 workers who lost their jobs in 2011 when some 2,211 companies shut down and 31,778 others in 2012 due to a similar reason. Metro Manila recorded the highest number of displaced workers. A total of 1,925 commercial establishments in the metropolis filed notices of closure, affecting some 17,144 workers in 2013. Employers cited downsizing as the main reason for the retrenchment and closure of establishments, which led to unemployment of nearly 13,000 workers. They said financial losses and lack of market forced them to lay off workers or close shop. The number of companies that closed in 2013 could still go up as calamities hit several areas in the country.

ALSO: Unemployment, poverty alarmed Cardinal Tagle

The worsening problem of unemployment and poverty in the country has alarmed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (photo). Tagle said while it is worth “rejoicing” that the Philippines registered the highest gross domestic product growth rate in Southeast Asia last year, the Cardinal finds it alarming the level of poverty has not gone down. “We have to salute our government and also the business sector,” Tagle said in a CBCP News post. “However, we were alarmed to see also that the level of poverty has not gone down.” “So you ask the question where is this growth going? How come there is this very accelerated growth economically but ordinary people remained poor?” he added. Tagle was interviewed over “Everyday Faith Live” show of Tele Care, a New York-based Catholic television network, last March 28. The Philippine Statistics Authority recently reported an increase of unemployed Filipinos despite the country’s above-target economic growth in 2013. In January, the PSA said, the unemployment rate climbed up to 7.5 percent from last year’s 7.1 percent even after the GDP last year grew 7.2 percent and the second fastest in Asia next to China’s 7.7 percent. The report means there are 2.96 million jobless Filipino families at the start of 2014, more than 2.78 million in 2013. A Social Weather Station survey released last January also found that more families considered themselves poor at the end of 2013. SWS data showed that 11.8 million or 55 percent of families rated themselves as poor, while some 8.8 million families or 41 percent said they were “food-poor”.

ALSO: Filipino youth worse off than peers in Asia, Africa - well-being index

The Filipino youth are worse off than their counterparts in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Morocco, and Ghana, - countries, like the Philippines, that are also classified as "lower-middle income" - a study said. According to the Global Youth Wellbeing Index, released by the US-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, the global youth organization International Youth Fellowship, with the Hilton Worldwide, the Philippines placed 22nd among 30 countries included in the rankings. "In certain cases, the Index reveals more pronounced levels of dissatisfaction. While there is little change in the ranking of the top eight countries and bottom five countries, there are notable changes among the remaining countries," the report said. "Mexico ranks seven spots higher with the exclusion of the subjective indicators, Brazil moves up five places, Russia moves four, and Turkey and the Philippines both move up three places. These changes indicate their Index scores were driven down by a generally negative outlook among young people in these countries," the study added. The Index measures a set of 40 indicators that address the overall national environment, youth-specific outcomes, and youths' outlook and satisfaction levels across six interconnected aspects of their lives (domains): citizen particpation, economic opportunity, education, health, information and communications technology (ICT), and safety and security. The Index includes 30 countries representing income and regional diversity and nearly 70 percent of the world's youth population (aged 10 to 24). READ MAIN FINDINGS LISTED COUNTRIES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM...

ALSO: PCCI calls for concrete plan to avert power crisis

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) warned that the power supply situation in the Philippines is now at a “critical stage” and called for a well- planned domestic strategy to avert the fast-approaching crisis. In a statement, the PCCI said the national power supply shortage has reached critical status, and that the “crisis is imminent in the very near future if no strong actions are taken soonest.” The shortfall arises from the absence of a concrete, well-coordinated national plan on power plant development and private-public effort to communicate the plan to communities that will be affected by the construction projects, it further said. To meet rising power demand, Luzon needs an additional supply of 600 megawatts now and 300 MW more every year, but “only some 145 MW may be expected in 2015,” PCCI said. The Visayas needs 150 MW of additional power at present and some 150 MW more every year, while Mindanao is short of 300 MW today and requires some 100 MW more each year. In both regions, “there is no definitive/concrete power development plan” to cope with the rise in demand based on a projected seven-percent economic growth, the trade association said. If we want to develop the heavy manufacturing industry sector and bring in greater foreign direct investments (FDIs), we should designate power supply sustainability, quality, and reliability (SQR) as a major part of our national strategy for industrialization and inclusive growth, the PCCI said. READ MORE...


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More workers displaced; unemployment, poverty worsened

MANILA, APRIL 7, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - More workers are losing their jobs due to closure of companies nationwide, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.

Data from DOLE’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) indicated an increasing number of displaced workers due to company closure.

Although there were fewer establishments that filed notices of closure since 2011, BLES showed the number of affected workers has increased in the past three years.

Based on preliminary data, BLES recorded a total of 36,639 displaced workers due to closure of 1,925 establishments in 2013.

The figure was significantly higher than the 35,526 workers who lost their jobs in 2011 when some 2,211 companies shut down and 31,778 others in 2012 due to a similar reason.

Metro Manila recorded the highest number of displaced workers. A total of 1,925 commercial establishments in the metropolis filed notices of closure, affecting some 17,144 workers in 2013.

Employers cited downsizing as the main reason for the retrenchment and closure of establishments, which led to unemployment of nearly 13,000 workers.

They said financial losses and lack of market forced them to lay off workers or close shop.

The number of companies that closed in 2013 could still go up as calamities hit several areas in the country.

Labor officials expressed confidence the country would be able to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda and other calamities that hit the country last year.

They said DOLE is implementing emergency employment programs to provide alternative source of income for people in the Visayas and Mindanao displaced by calamities.

Unemployment, poverty worsened

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the problems on unemployment and poverty have worsened despite reports of the country’s economic growth.

CBCPNews , the official news service provider of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said Tagle issued the statement during a recent interview with “Everyday Faith Live” show of Tele Care, a New York-based Catholic television network.

Tagle said it’s worth rejoicing that the Philippines registered last year the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in Southeast Asia.

“We have to salute our government and also the business sector. However, we were alarmed to see also that the level of poverty has not gone down,” he said.

“How come there is this very accelerated growth economically but ordinary people remained poor?” he added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently reported an increase in the number of unemployed Filipinos despite the country’s above-target economic growth in 2013.

In January, the PSA said, the unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 percent from last year’s 7.1 percent even after GDP last year grew to 7.2 percent, said to be the second fastest in Asia next to China’s 7.7 percent. – With Evelyn Macairan

FROM MANILA BULLETIN

Unemployment, poverty alarm Cardinal Tagle by Christina I. Hermoso and Leslie Ann G. Aquino April 3, 2014

Manila, Philippines — The worsening problem of unemployment and poverty in the country has alarmed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (photo).

Tagle said while it is worth “rejoicing” that the Philippines registered the highest gross domestic product growth rate in Southeast Asia last year, the Cardinal finds it alarming the level of poverty has not gone down.

“We have to salute our government and also the business sector,” Tagle said in a CBCP News post.

“However, we were alarmed to see also that the level of poverty has not gone down.”

“So you ask the question where is this growth going? How come there is this very accelerated growth economically but ordinary people remained poor?” he added.

Tagle was interviewed over “Everyday Faith Live” show of Tele Care, a New York-based Catholic television network, last March 28.

The Philippine Statistics Authority recently reported an increase of unemployed Filipinos despite the country’s above-target economic growth in 2013.

In January, the PSA said, the unemployment rate climbed up to 7.5 percent from last year’s 7.1 percent even after the GDP last year grew 7.2 percent and the second fastest in Asia next to China’s 7.7 percent.

The report means there are 2.96 million jobless Filipino families at the start of 2014, more than 2.78 million in 2013.

A Social Weather Station survey released last January also found that more families considered themselves poor at the end of 2013.

SWS data showed that 11.8 million or 55 percent of families rated themselves as poor, while some 8.8 million families or 41 percent said they were “food-poor”.

Both self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty rose from the previous quarter, and are above their four-quarter averages for 2013, the SWS noted.

“This has really disturbed the initial exuberance in receiving the news,” Tagle said.

The cardinal went to the United States last week to receive high honor from Fordham University, which conferred on him a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

FROM PHILSTAR

Filipino youth worse off than peers in Asia, Africa By Cheryl M. Arcibal (philstar.com) | Updated April 4, 2014 - 4:02pm 7 122 googleplus0 0


File photo.

MANILA, Philippines - The Filipino youth are worse off than their counterparts in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Morocco, and Ghana, - countries, like the Philippines, that are also classified as "lower-middle income" - a study said.

According to the Global Youth Wellbeing Index, released by the US-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, the global youth organization International Youth Fellowship, with the Hilton Worldwide, the Philippines placed 22nd among 30 countries included in the rankings.

"In certain cases, the Index reveals more pronounced levels of dissatisfaction. While there is little change in the ranking of the top eight countries and bottom five countries, there are notable changes among the remaining countries," the report said.

"Mexico ranks seven spots higher with the exclusion of the subjective indicators, Brazil moves up five places, Russia moves four, and Turkey and the Philippines both move up three places. These changes indicate their Index scores were driven down by a generally negative outlook among young people in these countries," the study added.

The Index measures a set of 40 indicators that address the overall national environment, youth-specific outcomes, and youths' outlook and satisfaction levels across six interconnected aspects of their lives (domains): citizen particpation, economic opportunity, education, health, information and communications technology (ICT), and safety and security.

The Index includes 30 countries representing income and regional diversity and nearly 70 percent of the world's youth population (aged 10 to 24).

The main findings of the study are:

* A large majority of the world's youth are experiencing lower levels of wellbeing.

* Even where young people are doing relatively well, they still face specific challenges and limitations.

* Even where youth may not be thriving, they display success in certain areas.

* How young people feel about their own wellbeing does not always align with what the objective data suggests.

*Across countries, domain average scores indicate youth faring strongest in health and weakest in economic opportunity.

The Filipino youth, the study said, ranked weakest at citizen participation (24th) and economic opportunity (24th). They also ranked 23rd in ICT, 21st in health, 19th in education, and 18th in safety and security.

Here's the complete rankings of the Global Youth Wellbeing Index:

1. Australia
2. Sweden
3. South Korea
4. United Kingdom
5. Germany
6. United States
7. Japan
8. Spain
9. Saudi Arabia
10. Thailand
11. Vietnam
12. Peru
13. Colombia
14. China
15. Brazil
16. Mexico
17. Jordan
18. Turkey
19. Indonesia
20. Morocco
21. Ghana
22. Philippines
23. South Africa
24. Egypt
25. Russia
26. India
27. Kenya
28. Tanzania
29. Uganda
30. Nigeria

The study said it hopes to help stakeholders make sense of separate, often conflicting data on learning, livelihoods, community or political engagement, health, physical safety, and other aspects of youth wellbeing.

The Index is also designed to facilitate both thought and action by promoting increased attention to and consultation with, deliberate dialogue about, and guiding invetsment in young people.

There are estimated 1.8 billion youth aged 10 to 24 on the planet today, representing the largest youth generation in human history.

PCCI calls for concrete plan to avert power crisis By Philexport (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 31, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) warned that the power supply situation in the Philippines is now at a “critical stage” and called for a well- planned domestic strategy to avert the fast-approaching crisis.

In a statement, the PCCI said the national power supply shortage has reached critical status, and that the “crisis is imminent in the very near future if no strong actions are taken soonest.”

The shortfall arises from the absence of a concrete, well-coordinated national plan on power plant development and private-public effort to communicate the plan to communities that will be affected by the construction projects, it further said.

To meet rising power demand, Luzon needs an additional supply of 600 megawatts now and 300 MW more every year, but “only some 145 MW may be expected in 2015,” PCCI said.

The Visayas needs 150 MW of additional power at present and some 150 MW more every year, while Mindanao is short of 300 MW today and requires some 100 MW more each year.

In both regions, “there is no definitive/concrete power development plan” to cope with the rise in demand based on a projected seven-percent economic growth, the trade association said.

If we want to develop the heavy manufacturing industry sector and bring in greater foreign direct investments (FDIs), we should designate power supply sustainability, quality, and reliability (SQR) as a major part of our national strategy for industrialization and inclusive growth, the PCCI said.

Specifically, a solidly planned blueprint should be crafted specifying the location, size, and type of power plants to be built. The plan will cover a minimum period of five years in advance and be supported by an annual review and updating program.

This should be complemented by a joint public-private effort to explain to the public the need to support its implementation, the group said.

At the same time, the supply challenge needs to be faced not just by the Department of Energy but together with other relevant government agencies as “a coordinated group and speaking in one voice.”

These agencies include the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance, and Department of Trade and Industry.

The government must also look at how to bring down the local price of energy, already the highest in Asia and among the 10 highest in the world, according to PCCI. One way is to consider subsidizing the cost of power the way other countries do.

Power cost subsidies can generate FDIs and spur industrialization, it said, pointing to the case of Indonesia, which from 2000 to 2012 saw FDI inflows average $6.2 billion per year. For the same period, similarly subsidized Malaysia registered annual FDIs of $5.8 billion, Thailand $7.2 billion, and Vietnam $4.5 billion. Philippine FDIs for the period reached just $1.5 billion each year on average.

The organization likewise recommended the revamp or suspension of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, removal of burdensome tariffs such as the value-added tax on franchise tax and incremental currency exchange rate adjustment, and use of solar power to light buildings and conserve power.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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