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Job creation in energy, manufacturing sectors to reduce poverty: Gadon

MANILA – Creating more jobs in energy and manufacturing industries will help alleviate poverty in the country, Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation Larry Gadon said Thursday.

During the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon program aired over state-run PTV-4, Gadon said he is now focused on attracting more foreign investments in these sectors in an effort to open additional job opportunities for Filipinos.

“In fact, I have been talking to and meeting with a lot of foreign investors who are interested in putting up power plants,” Gadon said.

“Ang ating President (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.), his advocacy is to provide electricity even to the farthest areas. ‘Yun kasing electricity, iyan talaga ang makakapagbigay ng bagong economic activities in any place. So, it will create more jobs and more economic activities, more economic development. ‘Yun ang target namin diyan (Our President, his advocacy is to provide electricity even to the farthest areas. Electricity can provide new economic activities in any place. So it will create more jobs and more economic activities, more economic development. That's our target there),” he added.

Gadon said he would pitch to Marcos the need to focus on generating more jobs in the fields of energy and manufacturing.

He said he is already in touch with the Office of the President for the possible implementation of his proposal.

“Iyan ang projects na pwede kong ipasa sa (That’s the project that I may submit to the) Office of the President para sa (for its) implementation,” Gadon said. “We are already doing the details of the work. Once these are completed, I will report it to President Marcos.”

This, as Gadon explained that his job as presidential adviser on poverty alleviation has limitations, as he could not directly implement any anti-poverty initiatives.

“Ang ginagawa ko lang (What I only do) is to submit to the President, to the Office of the President, the ideas that should be implemented to combat poverty. Marami naman tayong na-suggest (I have made many suggestions) and some of them are being done,” he said.

Gadon said there is also an ongoing survey among various government agencies that are receiving direct foreign donations for their respective poverty alleviation programs.

The concerned agencies, he said, were asked to provide information and data about donations they receive from other countries to synchronize or improve the implementation of anti-poverty programs.

The move, he added, is in line with Marcos’ commitment to implement a “one government” approach in addressing poverty in the country.

“Malaki ang nabawas doon sa poverty level natin. And marami pa kaming mga programa (Our poverty level has decreased a lot. And we have many more programs),” Gadon said. “Tuluy-tuloy ang programa ng Marcos administration at magaling naman ang ating Presidente at napakaganda ng kaniyang mga programa (The program of the Marcos administration continues and our President is good and his programs are very good).”

The country’s poverty rate went down to 22.4 percent in the first half of 2023 from 23.7 percent in the same period in 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) report released in December last year.

This translates to 25.24 million Filipinos whose per capita income is not sufficient to meet their basic food and non-food needs. The latest figure is down from 2021’s estimate of 26.14 million Filipinos.

The PSA earlier reported that the country’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in November last year, while employment reached its highest since April 2005.

The PSA’s latest Labor Force Survey showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos in November 2023 was estimated at 1.83 million, down from 2.18 million in November 2022 and 2.09 million in October 2023. (PNA)

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