Filipinos’ perception that the unemployment rate went up in 2013 is “understandable” because of the string of calamities that struck the country last year, Malacañang said on Monday.
“Based on the three calamities that beset this country—the earthquake, the disrupted economic activity in Bohol, the Zamboanga incident which also disrupted [the economy], as well as the whole swath of territory that was affected by Typhoon Yolanda—the unemployment factor increase was understandable,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said of the results of a recent survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The survey, conducted from December 11 to 16, showed that number of unemployed Filipinos has increased by 2.5 million.
The SWS said that unemployment increased from 21.7 percent or 9.6 million Filipinos in September 2013 to 27.5 percent or 12.1 million individuals in December last year. It also pointed out that the unemployment figures were the highest since August 2012, when it reached 29.4 percent.
Speaking to reporters, Lacierda assured that the government continues to find measures that can provide employment for all.
For instance, he cited the areas affected by the typhoon Yolanda, where the government, he said, “expects reconstruction and rehabilitation to be moving, and so we will expect employment to be done.”
According to him, President Benigno Aquino 3rd had already directed his Cabinet to make sure that there would be employment for those affected in the region.
“We already have our cash-for-work program to make sure that those who have suffered may be able to afford some measure of compensation. So that’s understandable for us,” Lacierda said
“Certainly, it’s very unfortunate that these things happen, but we have to rise up. That is the role of government: to provide for its people. And three calamities hit us but we were not—how do you say that? We were bloodied but unbowed—in the words of ‘Invictus,’” he added.