Aquino delusional on jobs, achievements – KMU

“He should check his numbers or get his head checked. Or both.”

That was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s claim last Friday that the country’s employment situation improved under his term, and said that the chief executive is delusional in saying so and is getting desperate in trying to boost the presidential campaign of Mar Roxas.

The labor group said that Aquino, in invoking data on the supposed reduction of Overseas Filipino Workers and a decrease in unemployment rate, is cherry-picking data that would suit his interest and is hiding the real employment situation in the country.

“Aquino’s claims on the country’s employment situation and his so-called legacy are getting zanier and zanier. The jobs crisis in the country remains dire and the quality of available jobs miserable,” said Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said the return of many OFWs to the country is a result of the continuing Global Financial and Economic Crisis affecting many countries, not the improvement in the country’s capacity to create jobs.

He also said that the country’s employment data are not reliable measurements of the jobs situation because the government sets a very low standard of what “employed” means, removes those who are jobless but not looking for work in the employed-unemployed count, and marks as “unemployed” only those who are actively seeking work.

“Aquino talking about improvements in the employment situation under his term is like hearing Ferdinand Marcos talking about improvements in the human rights situation under his term. Marcos failed to make himself win in 1986 and Aquino will fail to make Roxas win in 2016,” Labog added.

KMU cited independent think-tank Ibon Foundation’s July 2015 claim that, with 4.3 million unemployed and 7.9 million underemployed, the country under Aquino is facing the worst jobs crisis in history.

“Even if they are already considered ‘employed,’ workers know the real employment situation. Starvation wages, contractual employment, violation of union rights continue to be the norm. Capitalists have always used the dire employment situation to force workers to accept dire working conditions,” Labog stated.

KMU has been calling for a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide to bring the minimum wage closer to the Family Living Wage, as the gap between the two has continuously increased for years.

It has also been calling for the banning of contractual employment, which has further spread in both the private and public sectors in recent years.