Biz groups eye creation of 1M jobs

THE Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and affiliated business organizations are targeting the creation of over a million additional jobs in 2024 as part of their joint commitment to support the Marcos Jr. administration’s employment agenda.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said on Friday that the private sector-led employment-generation initiative called “Project Jobs” would be pursued in collaboration with the Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport) and the broader Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

MORE JOBS NEEDED Filipino construction workers are seen at work at a site in Barangay Kaunlaran, Cubao, Quezon City, in this Sept. 8, 2023 photo. Employers Confederation of the Philippines President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said allied business groups would combine their resources to create over one million additional jobs in 2024. PNA PHOTO

MORE JOBS NEEDED Filipino construction workers are seen at work at a site in Barangay Kaunlaran, Cubao, Quezon City, in this Sept. 8, 2023 photo. Employers Confederation of the Philippines President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said allied business groups would combine their resources to create over one million additional jobs in 2024. PNA PHOTO

“We are pursuing this (Project Jobs) with the full support of our members and their companies. The SM Group will be on board with us on this project. Aside from helping the administration achieve its employment targets, more jobs make the country a much better place to do business. It will be good for everyone,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

The businessman, however, noted that the allied business groups, despite the hundreds of companies under their banner, could only provide direct employment to 16 percent of the country’s labor force within the formal sector.

Ortiz-Luis, who also sits as president of PhilExport and is a director of PCCI, pointed out that all stakeholders must pitch in to create livelihood opportunities for more Filipinos and preserve the jobs of those already employed.

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He said there is a need to further reassure investors that policies toward investment are not fickle and that legitimate contracts are always honored in the Philippines.

He emphasized that the stability of business policymaking is a requisite to encouraging local businesses to expand and to lure more investments from overseas.

Ortiz-Luis said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s foreign visits will go a long way to motivating executives of multinational companies to give the Philippines a second look.

“The President’s trips abroad have already succeeded in generating renewed attention [for the Philippines]. Now, we have to further entice them (investors) through sound and stable economic policies,” he added.