CREATING jobs for millions of Filipinos will be the focus of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., if he is given an opportunity to serve the country as Vice President.
To effectively carry out his mission, Marcos said, he would choose to lead the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) if the next President will allow him to pick a Cabinet position.
According to the senator, lack of jobs is one of the biggest problems facing the country and it is the role of the government to provide the people employment to free them from poverty.
Section 9, Article II, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states, “The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services [and]promote full employment, a rising standard of living and an improved quality of life for all.”
“Siguro kung mayroon akong hihingin na portfolio, palagay ko gusto kong makatulong sa DOLE [If there is a portfolio I will ask for, I want to help DOLE],” Marcos said in a television interview on Wednesday.
Marcos is the author of Senate Bill 1862, which seeks the creation of an inter-agency council for the creation of jobs.
The council will serve as the overall advisory and coordinating mechanism that shall design policy program directions for all job creation endeavors in the country.
It will be composed of 15 heads of different government agencies with the secretary of the Labor department as chairman.
The proposed measure remains pending before the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.
Marcos noted that 90 percent of jobs come from the private sector, the reason why the government should lay down an enabling environment to encourage growth of the private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs, he said, are the biggest contributor to the country’s economy and has played a major role in employment generation.
Marcos suggested that the government embark on business-driven infrastructures, lead in the research and development and provide appropriate training and access to credit facilities.
The senator said if DOLE is not available, the Department of Transportation and Communications is also an important government agency that needs focus.
Marcos expressed confidence that he could contribute toward solving pressing problems facing the department, including traffic jams in Metro Manila and lack of mass transport system.
In an earlier interview, he noted that while the Philippines has an existing light rail system that could help ease the traffic in urban areas, it is plagued not only with serious safety and reliability issues, poor maintenance and overcrowding but also allegations of corruption.
The next administration, Marcos said, should expand the transportation infrastructure.
A study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency said the country is losing P2.2 billion a day because of traffic jams.