Marcos, private sector council discuss stronger job creation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) – Major business leaders have proposed measures to boost the Marcos administration’s efforts to create more jobs and attract more investors amid the economy’s road to recovery, Malacañang said Thursday.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. confirmed in a social media post his meeting on Wednesday with the Private Sector Advisory Council on their recommendations, which include scaling up small businesses and identifying labor-intensive and high-potential industries.

The PSAC, led by Aboitiz Group President Sabin Aboitiz, in a separate statement said it also pushed for attracting more investors by improving the country’s ease of doing business and making labor regulations more flexible.

The Council likewise batted for building workers’ skills to improve the country’s short-term productivity and long-term competitiveness.

The PSAC said jobs sector lead and RFM Chief Executive Officer Joey Concepcion joined the meeting. The following members were also present:

- JG Summit president and CEO Lance Gokongwei

- SM Investments vice chairperson Tessie Sy Coson

- Magsaysay Group president and CEO Doris Magsaysay Ho

- Alliance Global Group CEO Kevin Tan

- Ayala Corporation independent director Rizalina Mantaring

“The Council will again be meeting with PBBM in the coming weeks to lay out a roadmap that will help the Build, Build, Build and Tourism sectoral groups secure quick and substantial wins in the first 100 days of the administration,” the PSAC added.

The country’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level amid COVID-19 at 6% in the first half of 2022 following the easing of restrictions. However, it remains higher than the 5.1% average in pre-pandemic 2019.

The economy expanded 7.4% in the second quarter, slower than 8.2% during the first three months of the year. Still, this brought first-half growth to 7.8%, which is above the 6.5-7.5% target band set by economic managers.