AQUINO ADMIN FOCUSING ON JOBS, SOCIAL PROTECTION TO ACHIEVE INCLUSIVE GROWTH

AQUINO ADMIN FOCUSING ON JOBS, SOCIAL PROTECTION TO ACHIEVE INCLUSIVE GROWTH

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III said his administration is massively increasing its focus on employment and social protection which are keys to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

“The mantra is nobody should really be left behind,” the President said in an interview with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat.

“That’s why, we are focusing and trying to do the holistic approach from education, health, food security, better ability to resist climate change, building back communities better and a whole set of other activities and programs that we have instituted,” he said.

The President said there is mismatch between jobs and skills availability particularly in the so-called business processing management-business processing operations.

To address this, President Aquino said the government has asked industry players to project what skills they would need in the next two to six years in a bid to minimize the jobs and skills mismatch.

A web portal called Phil-JobNet also lists job opportunities and the number of applicants, he added.

The Chief Executive said the country is also putting more resources into the education and health sectors.

“We put in our resources where we believed it would make the most sense. Education is at the forefront. Our constitution actually mandates that the biggest single item in the budget has to be education,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Aquino said the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program provides cash grants to ensure that poor children are in school.

The President cited a study indicating that there is a 40-percent increase in income prospects for children graduating from high school against those who graduated from elementary school.

“These people who previously could only do menial jobs suddenly get into skilled; get into the workforce as a skilled member who pays taxes, who enables us to train the next generation. That’s why we say inclusive growth leads to stability within the system and continued growth,” he added. Leslie D. Venzon PNA