The partylist group One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals or 1-Pacman has vowed to create at least 1 million jobs — mostly in Mindanao — if the group makes it to Congress.
Businessman and sportsman Mikee Romero, the partylist group’s first nominee, said his group’s main objective is to provide opportunities for unemployed Filipinos, particularly in Mindanao, for the first three years of being elected in Congress.
Based on a 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Romero said unemployment in the Philippines continues to make the lives of the Filipinos difficult.
Citing the PSA data, Romero said the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent and this needs to be remedied.
“For a rich region such as ARMM, it is ironic that many people are faced with the reality of joblessness,” said Romero. “This is one of the things that we would like to address.”
Romero’s group intends to replicate the Emergency Employment Authority of late President Diosdado Macapagal, believing that the agency was successful in providing jobs for Filipinos.
1-Pacman, he said, will lay down its program on short-term, medium term, and long term job generation scheme.
Romero, who has a doctorate degrees in Economic and Management, said 1-Pacman will give attention to Mindanao, saying social problems such as unemployment contribute to the peace problem of the region.
“If we are able to provide work for the people, they will be swayed away from violence. In this way, we will be able to contribute to nation building, particularly on economic development, tourism, medical tourism, and generally, peace and security,” Romero said.
Romero recognized the success of the government in easing out unemployment from 6.4 percent in 2014 from 7 percent the previous year, but he stressed more needs to be done.
“But we should do more and make enough jobs for the Filipinos. It is the our duty to provide better opportunities for those who do not have,” he said.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said 495,000 Filipinos were employed between April in 2014 and April 2015.
1-Pacman advocates for development of sports, education for children and youth, and job generation for poor Filipinos.
The group is supported by top Filipino athletes and sports personalities.
At present, Romero, who owns Air Asia and Harbour Center Port Terminal, has provided around 100,000 jobs to Filipinos and has sent over a thousand children to school for free