Only 4 of 100 in Davao region are unemployed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 Dec) —  “Only four out of 100 people in the Davao region” are unemployed, Jason Balais, assistant regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 said Monday, thanks to the influx of investments following the election of long-time Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines.

Balais told a press conference Monday that employment rate in the region went up to 96.4% in the third quarter this year, up from last year’s 94.5%  for the same period while unemployment rate dropped from 5.6 % in the third quarter of 2015 to 3.6% in the same period in 2016.

The Davao region comprises the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley and the cities of Davao, Panabo, Tagum, Samal, Digos and Mati.

The DOLE in Region 11 noted that in 2012, unemployment rate was 6%; in 2013, it rose to 6.9%; and in 2014, it dropped to 5.6%.

The same DOLE 11 report showed that unemployment rate was at 6% in the third quarter of 2012, 6.9 % in 2013, and 5.6 %  in 2014 and 2015 and 3.6% in the same period.

“Many of the investments have been focused on the Davao Region. If you have more investors in the Davao Region, it means that there will be more requirement for people to work and that will help certainly our job seekers find a job that they need because of the influx of investments in the region,” Balais said.

Balais also encouraged companies to comply with the new wage rates which took effect last December 16.

For workers employed by non-agriculture/industrial/commercial and retail service employing more than 10 workers, they will enjoy a new wage rate of P340 (P335.00 basic and P5 cost of living allowance) from P317; P335 for workers in agriculture sector (P335 and P5 COLA) from P307;  and retail/service employing not more than 10 workers, with P 315.00 (P 310.00 basic and P5COLA) from P286.

“I don’t think the increase will discourage investors to come into Davao Region. The increase was a product of a tripartite decision – management was part of the decision, labor was part of the decision, and government as well so they will have to factor in the new minimum wage in their investments,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)