NEDA urges private sector to offer more jobs for senior citizens

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National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan addresses the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, at United Nations headquarters. (PHOTO: Craig Ruttle/AP Photo)
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan addresses the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, at United Nations headquarters. (PHOTO: Craig Ruttle/AP Photo)

Amid skyrocketing prices of food and other basic commodities and services, more senior citizens are going back to work instead of retiring to be able to provide for their families.

This prompted Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan to urge the private sector to provide seniors with opportunities and training to adapt to workspaces, especially in the digital age.

“Our institutions, our practices, our regulations have to evolve and respond with the changing times. Life expectancy has been increasing in many societies, including us [in the Philippines]… In countries like Japan or South Korea where life expectancy has increased, the society has opened up opportunities for the age-old members of their population,” Balisacan said on Tuesday (Aug 9).

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief said that employers could tap seniors’ competencies and offer jobs according to their educational attainments. He added that seniors aged 65 and above remain “very productive.”

“I suspect old guys like me can also be trained in digital… we can do that. I think that the trick here is just to open up the possibilities, and let the people choose what best fits them,” Balisacan said.

The chief economist also noted that some retirees went into modern farming, or teaching after serving in the government.

On Monday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in its latest labor force survey (LFS) showed that 570,000 Filipinos including senior citizens joined the labor market for the month of June alone.

While the bulk of the new workers were around 25 to 34 years old, National Statistician Dennis Mapa noted that there was an increasing number of labor force entrants from higher age groups, or those above 35 years old.

Mapa said that 65% of the respondents said they looked for regular jobs because they wanted more earnings to help them cope with inflation.

Inflation, a measure of the average increase in prices of basic goods and services, reached 4.4% during the first half of 2022 and continued to rise to 6.4% as of end-July.

Earlier, the country’s chief executive and dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was slammed for disagreeing with PSA’s report on inflation, saying “we are not that high” as ordinary Filipinos deal with higher costs of living while suffering from low wages and meager earnings.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings. The views expressed are her own.

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