Given the country's alarming unemployment rate amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Joel Villanueva on Saturday urged the government to roll out more livelihood programs and augment funding programs for Filipinos.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s latest Labor Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate in the country rose to 17.7 percent, equivalent to 7.3 million unemployed Filipino, in April.
“The government should roll out livelihood programs and augment funding for programs that provide temporary jobs and loans to people who’ve lost jobs and their sources of income to the pandemic, including our modern-day heroes,” Drilon said.
"Nananawagan po tayo sa pamahalaan na unahin ang kapakanan ng mga manggagawa, lalo na’t gutom at lalong hirap ang kanilang mararanasan habang walang tulong na maipapaabot ang gobyerno sa kanila," Villanueva, meanwhile, said.
Drilon also urged Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Cacdac to fund and provide benefits to returning OFWs.
“The OWWA Fund was specifically created for the purpose of providing social and welfare services to OFWs. Secretary Bello and Administrator Cacdac should stop thinking of OWWA’s return on investment, but the OFWs’ welfare,” Drilon said.
Villanueva, meanwhile, lamented the failure to certify the Bayanihan 2 law as urgent.
"Matapos magsikap ang Senado na ipasa agad ang Bayanihan 2 bill, nakakalungkot na hindi ito sinertipikahan bilang isang urgent measure," he said.
"Dahil dito, ang kakapiranggot na P32 bilyong na inilaan ng Department of Finance na tulong sa mga manggagawa ay hindi rin kaagad magagamit," he added. — DVM, GMA News