Palace looking at SWS joblessness survey half-full: ‘Glad it’s not 100%’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday appears to be choosing to look at the glass half-full, saying it was “glad” that adult joblessness is not at 100 percent based on a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that states that nearly half of the country’s labor force was jobless in July 2020.
According to SWS, the estimated number of jobless adults was at 27.3 million in July 2020, representing a record-high 45.4 percent of the labor force.
“Magugulat ka ba na nawalan ng trabaho sila e samantalang buwan buwan nang inaabot na naka-lockdown ang ating ekonomiya? Ako po’y nagagalak na hindi tayo 100 percent na nawalan ng trabaho,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when sought for reaction on the latest SWS poll.
(Will you be surprised that they lost their jobs when the lockdown of our economy reached months? I am glad that we are not 100 percent jobless.)
“Kasi sa tagal po na naka-lockdown tayo, talagang I’m still surprised at our resilience at 45 percent pa lang ang nawawalan ng trabaho. It could have been worse kasi nga po, complete lockdown ang nangyayari sa atin,” he added.
(With how long we are under lockdown, I’m still surprised at our resilience at 45 percent. It could have been worse because what we’re experiencing is a complete lockdown.)
On what steps will be taken, Roque said the economy has to be reopened to allow Filipinos to return to their jobs.
“Ako, I belong to the school of thought na we can live with COVID, we need to learn how to live our lives with COVID… Ang solusyon po, kinakailangan buksan ang ekonomiya. Dahil talaga naman pong wala pa rin trabaho ang karamihan kung mananatili ang mga lockdowns,” Roque said.
(I belong to the school of thought that we can live with COVID, we need to learn how to live our lives with COVID. The solution is for us to open the economy. Many will remain jobless if lockdowns continue.)
“We are saddened, but that’s to be expected with the lockdowns that we’ve had because of COVID-19. I think [the] government is looking at opening the economy and providing financial assistance to small and medium-scale enterprises,” he went on.
Metro Manila, which is a major economic hub, along with the provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna are under a strict lockdown or modified enhanced community quarantine until Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the areas’ new quarantine classifications on Monday.
The Philippines has so far recorded 161,253 COVID-19 cases with 2,665 deaths and 112,586 recoveries.
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