Roxas promises 1M jobs per year

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Presidential aspirant Manuel Roxas II wants a million new jobs every year.

Baliuag, Bulacan (CNN Philippines) — Create more and better jobs in the next six years.

This was the promise of Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II on Sunday (February 27) in Baliuag, Bulacan if he wins in the May elections.

His target: a million new jobs every year.

"Trabaho ang pinakaimportante. Nagawa ko na dati to nung nasa DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) ako, sa mga garments, call centers, pagawaan. Kaya alam ko na magagawa ko muli ito," Roxas said.

[Translation: "Employment is the most important. I did it before when I was in the Department of Trade and Industry, in garments, call centers, factories. I know that I can do it again."]

But an economist said Roxas' target is insufficient given the country's unemployment and underemployment rates.

Related: SWS: Joblessness rate drops to 21.9 percent, lowest since 2004

"That will only absorb the new entrants, a little bit more than the new entrants. How about the unemployed of nearly 3 million? Let alone the underemployed," Professor Ernesto Pernia of the University of the Philippines School of Economics said in a phone interview.

Pernia said a more ideal target is to create 3 million new jobs annually in a span of five years. He said this will drastically plug the job deficit that has plagued the country for many years now.

Related: More jobs for Filipinos after APEC – DOLE

Liberal Party candidates continue their campaign in Bulacan, one of the top vote-rich provinces in the country. It has over 1.5 million voters making it a favorite stop among candidates to present their platforms and woo voters.

Related: Roxas pushes for 'Bukid Revolution' to Bulacan farmers