Tell it to SunStar: Alarm over joblessness

THE latest SWS survey indicated that joblessness has reached an estimated 10 million among Filipino adults during the third quarter of 2019.

Malungkot at kumakalam ang tiyan na sasalubungin ng 10 milyong Pilipino at kanilang pamilya ang darating na pasko dulot ng kawalan ng trabaho.

We’re worried over its consequent effects to children and we blame the weak economic programs of the government and its failure to end contractualization. It’s another indicator of the failure of Duterte’s economic program.

Despite the hype of government’s Build, Build, Build project, the economy remains weak and unable to generate enough jobs with decent wages. As a result, the affected families still faced huge barriers in making ends meet.

The increase in unemployment rate usually comes with spike in hunger and malnutrition with parents having a hard time providing the education and health needs of their children, especially that such services are mostly privatized.

The issue of joblessness and low wages are old problems that have immense impact on a great number of children living in the urban centers.

However, the Duterte government seems to disregard the clamor of the working class for genuine reforms. For instance, the promise to end contractualization has not been fulfilled.

At the same time, workers struggle to survive their families with P537 minimum wage, a far cry from the P750 minimum wage demand of labor groups. High prices of basic commodities aggravate the condition of the poor families.

The lack of jobs opportunity in the country will further push workers to seek employment abroad. In this situation, many children will be further deprived of the chance to live under the care of their parents who resort to working abroad in order to provide them a better living condition.

We’ve seen the social cost of migration and its negative consequences. Children of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) tend to become more vulnerable to abuses and other forms of violence.

We also warn the government that if the situation continues, other child protection concerns will also worsen such as child labor, prostitution, online sexual exploitation of children, among others.

We urge the public to persist in demanding the government to implement economic programs that will benefit marginalized families. The government should focus on generating jobs with decent wages and take appropriate legislative action to end all forms of contractualization. (By Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns)