SONA 2009 notes: almost 4 M jobless a year (and it’s also understated)

In her first SONA (2001), Mrs. Arroyo declared that her economic philosophy is that “the way to fight poverty is to create jobs, not destroy them”. She even made a concrete promise to create one million new jobs in agriculture and fisheries in one year alone.
In her 2002 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo said that her working agenda will focus on creating and improving job opportunities. And she meant not simply jobs but “jobs paying decent wages”.
In her 2003 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo recognized that for the practical purposes of most people, “government exists to provide jobs”.
After making big promises on job creation and preservation, by 2004, Mrs. Arroyo was asking for “patience” from the people. In her SONA that year, she said: “We must wait in patience for the reforms to work… konti pang sakripisyo (a little more sacrifice)… because world competition is keen and we want the jobs not only to come but to stay”.
In her 2005 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo was immodest about her job generation program. Remember that a month before her SONA, the “Hello Garci” scandal broke out, triggering massive protests and calls for her ouster or resignation. Her speech thus had to be extra highfalutin about her supposed achievements. She bragged, among others, of an economy that “surprised many at home and abroad” while “generating 4 million jobs in the last four years”.
In 2006, Mrs. Arroyo acclaimed two of her most important job “creation” initiatives – business process outsourcing (BPO) and labor export. She said that with the proliferation of call centers in the country, “we not only found jobs but kept families intact”. But she was also quick to recognize that “we are a great people” because “we compete and win in every imaginable job throughout the world”.
She repeated her promotion of BPO jobs under her government in 2007, citing in her SONA speech that “the business services sector has become the fastest growing in the economy”. She said she expects the sector to become as important as labor export and that by 2010, the sector could produce $12 billion or the same amount of OFW remittances.
Her last SONA in 2008 saw Mrs. Arroyo addressing the country “at a crucial moment in world history”. The worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression started to unfold and she blamed this for undermining her supposed gains in managing the Philippine economy, including its creation of “a million new jobs”. She said to address the global challenge, the country must go on “building and buttressing bridges to allies around the world to bring in “investments to create jobs”, among others.
How can we sum up Mrs. Arroyo’s achievements in terms of job creation and preservation in the last eight years?
First, we may compare the job situation under her watch with that of her own targets or commitments.
Under the Arroyo administration, the country has been experiencing its worst jobs crisis, which has been further aggravated by the wave of massive displacements due to the impact of the global financial and economic crisis. Unemployment rate since 2001 has remained at more than 11% per year with about 4 million workers jobless every year. Annual unemployment rate under the Aquino to Estrada administrations was between 9 to 10% while the number of unemployed was between 2 to 3 million a year.
Consequently, Mrs. Arroyo has also been the most aggressive in exporting Filipino workers since the domestic job creation under her pro-globalization policies have been greatly undermined. Every year, OFW deployment under the Aquino to Estrada administrations was between 361,000 to 693,000 but under Arroyo, the figure ballooned to more than 1 million a year.
In fact, Mrs. Arroyo is the only Philippine president to categorically declare labor export as an official job creation policy of government. Administrations since Marcos have considered (at least on paper) labor export as “temporary” or “secondary” option for Filipino workers.
Second, we may compare her achievements with that of her own targets or commitments.
In her 2004 SONA, she outlined her so-called 10-point agenda. Number one on this list is the “The creation of six million jobs in six years via more opportunities given to entrepreneurs, tripling of the amount of loans for lending to small and medium enterprises and the development of one to two million hectares of land for agricultural business”. This means one million new jobs every year.
In 2004, the average number of employed workers was 31.6 million. This means that by this year, the total number of employed workers should be at least 37.6 million. Based on the official Labor Force Surveys in January and April 2009 of the National Statistics Office (NSO), the average number of employed workers this year is only 34.63 million. From 2004 to 2009, the annual average of additional jobs is only 690,000, not one million as promised by Mrs. Arroyo. And we’re only talking about official figures or “employment” as defined by government’s ridiculous standard (i.e. anyone who has worked for an hour, paid or unpaid, for the past week before the NSO conducted its survey is considered employed, etc.)
In her supposedly farewell SONA on July 27, what will she say about jobs now that the direct impact of the global crunch is starting to impact on domestic jobs as well as on OFWs?
Abangan.
4 million jobless a year

4 million jobless a year

In her first SONA (2001), Mrs. Arroyo declared that her economic philosophy is that “the way to fight poverty is to create jobs, not destroy them”. She even made a concrete promise to create one million new jobs in agriculture and fisheries in one year alone.

In her 2002 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo said that her working agenda will focus on creating and improving job opportunities. And she meant not simply jobs but “jobs paying decent wages”.

In her 2003 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo recognized that for the practical purposes of most people, “government exists to provide jobs”.

After making big promises on job creation and preservation, by 2004, Mrs. Arroyo was asking for “patience” from the people. In her SONA that year, she said: “We must wait in patience for the reforms to work… konti pang sakripisyo (a little more sacrifice)… because world competition is keen and we want the jobs not only to come but to stay”.

In her 2005 SONA, Mrs. Arroyo was immodest about her job generation program. Remember that a month before her SONA, the “Hello Garci” scandal broke out, triggering massive protests and calls for her ouster or resignation. Her speech thus had to be extra highfalutin about her supposed achievements. She bragged, among others, of an economy that “surprised many at home and abroad” while “generating 4 million jobs in the last four years”.

In 2006, Mrs. Arroyo acclaimed two of her most important job “creation” initiatives – business process outsourcing (BPO) and labor export. She said that with the proliferation of call centers in the country, “we not only found jobs but kept families intact”. But she was also quick to recognize that “we are a great people” because “we compete and win in every imaginable job throughout the world”.

She repeated her promotion of BPO jobs under her government in 2007, citing in her SONA speech that “the business services sector has become the fastest growing in the economy”. She said she expects the sector to become as important as labor export and that by 2010, the sector could produce $12 billion or the same amount of OFW remittances.

Her last SONA in 2008 saw Mrs. Arroyo addressing the country “at a crucial moment in world history”. The worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression started to unfold and she blamed this for undermining her supposed gains in managing the Philippine economy, including its creation of “a million new jobs”. She said to address the global challenge, the country must go on “building and buttressing bridges to allies around the world to bring in “investments to create jobs”, among others.

How can we sum up Mrs. Arroyo’s achievements in terms of job creation and preservation in the last eight years?

First, we may compare the job situation under her watch with that of her own targets or commitments.

Under the Arroyo administration, the country has been experiencing its worst jobs crisis, which has been further aggravated by the wave of massive displacements due to the impact of the global financial and economic crisis. Unemployment rate since 2001 has remained at more than 11% per year with about 4 million workers jobless every year. Annual unemployment rate under the Aquino to Estrada administrations was between 9 to 10% while the number of unemployed was between 2 to 3 million a year.

Consequently, Mrs. Arroyo has also been the most aggressive in exporting Filipino workers since the domestic job creation under her pro-globalization policies have been greatly undermined. Every year, OFW deployment under the Aquino to Estrada administrations was between 361,000 to 693,000 but under Arroyo, the figure ballooned to more than 1 million a year.

In fact, Mrs. Arroyo is the only Philippine president to categorically declare labor export as an official job creation policy of government. Administrations since Marcos have considered (at least on paper) labor export as “temporary” or “secondary” option for Filipino workers.

Employment indicators under the Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo administrations

Administration

No. of jobless workers per year (in million)

No. of deployed OFWs per year (in million)

Aquino (1987-1991)

2.3

0.36

Ramos (1992-1997)

2.6

0.46

Estrada (1998-2000)

3.2

0.69

Arroyo (2001-2008)

3.8

1.01

Compiled and processed using NSO and POEA data

Second, we may compare her achievements with that of her own targets or commitments.

In her 2004 SONA, she outlined her so-called 10-point agenda. Number one on this list is the “The creation of six million jobs in six years via more opportunities given to entrepreneurs, tripling of the amount of loans for lending to small and medium enterprises and the development of one to two million hectares of land for agricultural business”. This means one million new jobs every year.

In 2004, the average number of employed workers was 31.6 million. This means that by this year, the total number of employed workers should be at least 37.6 million. Based on the official Labor Force Surveys in January and April 2009 of the National Statistics Office (NSO), the average number of employed workers this year is only 34.63 million. From 2004 to 2009, the annual average of additional jobs is only 690,000, not one million as promised by Mrs. Arroyo. And we’re only talking about official figures or “employment” as defined by government’s ridiculous standard (i.e. anyone who has worked for an hour, paid or unpaid, for the past week before the NSO conducted its survey is considered employed, etc.)

Employed workers from 2001 to 2009 (in million)

Year

Jan

Apr

Jul

Oct

2003

30.12

30.42

29.86

31.52

2004

31.52

31.52

31.62

31.73

2005

31.63

32.22

32.52

32.88

2006

32.38

33.02

33.26

33.18

2007

33.55

33.71

33.33

33.67

2008

33.69

33.54

34.60

34.53

2009

34.26

34.99

Compiled using NSO data

In her supposedly farewell SONA on July 27, what will she say about jobs now that the direct impact of the global crunch is now being felt by domestic jobs as well as by OFWs?

Abangan.

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3 thoughts on “SONA 2009 notes: almost 4 M jobless a year (and it’s also understated)

  1. overall maganda naman pkinggan sona 2009 pero lets face it…kaya mraming mhirap n lalo p naghihirap dahil marami pang malalaking kumpanya n masakit man isipin n pag aari ng pinoy at dayuhan n d sumusunod sa labor standards. ano nlang mangyayari sa mga pamilya ng manggagawa n d man lang mataasan ng sahod. minimum pa rin khit 5, 10, or 15 years in service. pkicheck isa isa yang mga giant corporation at kumpanya.

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Philippines: Reactions to the 9th State of the Nation Address

  3. bwisit na sona yan!! ngaun marami kaming projects about jan na sonang yan!! kung wlang sona, sna ala rin kming project!! wahahaahahh

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