Infrastructure program seen creating 1.8M new jobs each year

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TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the government’s aggressive infrastructure program will create 1.8 million jobs a year, both directly and indirectly through related industries and suppliers.

In a briefing at Malacañang, Mr. Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said that the extent of the job creation was due partly to critical projects being run in multiple shifts.

“The economic cluster is assuming that for projects to be completed within the term of the President, we can’t be doing one shift a day,” he added.

“We need 24-hour work in three shifts of eight hours each. In other words, if you have a project that needs masonry, you’ll need three masons, not one.”

Mr. Tugade also cited the employment to be created from the operation of trains and related service jobs, which the Department of Labor and Employment estimates at 1.8 million, which is sustained by the National Economic and Development Auhority (NEDA).

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, also speaking at the briefing, also noted that “other businesses will grow as a consequence of these projects. So the impact is large. In some cases, as Secretary Tugade noted, it’s times three. It could be as high as times five” because of the job generation in business establishments that will operate in the buildings put up.

Mr. Bello also announced that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will seek to sustain the momentum in the creation of quality jobs.

“In order for us to sustain the growth momentum of the generation of not just jobs but decent jobs, we have put in place a number of interventions targeted at poor workers engaged in precarious and vulnerable work,” Mr. Bello said.

He estimated that in April, employment in construction was “4.012 million from 3.544 million during the same period in 2017. This is a 13.2% increase.” — Gillian M. Cortez