Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Palace eyes 3 million jobs

The government is ready to provide as many as three million jobs for the year as Malacañang raised to P330 billion the proposed multi-billion peso economic stimulus package to cushion the impact of the global economic crisis.

Secretary Domingo Panganiban, lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, said the jobs will be created under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program component of the economic sustainability plan.

Panganiban said the three million will be a “best-effort” and based on a projection that at least one million will be needed by June 30. “We might be going beyond one million by June 30,” he said.

He said the government is allotting P1 billion for every one million jobs.

The economic stimulus plan, originally at P300 billion, is provided under the proposed P1.415 trillion national budget for 2009 which Congress has yet to approve.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto earlier said part of the proposed economic stimulus package will be used to hire more teachers and policemen, finance infrastructure spending and rehabilitate the state healthcare system. He said the government also plans to increase the number of poor families receiving direct cash assistance.

President Macapagal-Arroyo called the program an “Economic Resiliency Plan” to pump-prime the economy. “The plan aims to upgrade infrastructure, expand social protection and ensure sustainable growth in the midst of the global economic crisis,” she said.

Recto said the focus is on the repair and rehabilitation of roads, hospitals, bridges and irrigation facilities, schools and other government buildings.

Panganiban said “so much number of people” also want to be interviewed for jobs in the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation and Communication and Department of Education. He said there are also jobs in janitorial and utility services. “So we might go beyond the one million,” he said. By: Tess Bedico - Journal online

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