MDG-F marks Youth Day in Philippines


The employment challenges facing Filipino youth were in the spotlight at an event organized by the MDG-F to coincide with International Youth Day, and presided over by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

The event, entitled “Kabataan [Youth]: Jobs and Alternatives to Migration”, is part of an MDG-F-funded effort working with the national and local governments to improve prospects for youth in the Philippines, where more than one in six young people is unemployed and 60% drop out of high school before graduating, further limiting their access to decent work.

Young women are particularly vulnerable: only 13% of youth with jobs are women, and many work as domestics in private households where there are few workers’ safeguards. With limited prospects at home, many young people migrate to urban centers or overseas, often leaving behind children who themselves are vulnerable to dropping out of school and thus perpetuating the cycle of joblessness.

The purpose of the Youth Day event, held in Pasay City, adjacent to Manila, was to advocate key youth employment and migration (YEM) priorities and other important issues that affect young Filipinos. The YEM Strategy Framework, which will be the basis for a National Action Plan on youth employment and migration, was formally presented to President Aquino. The event drew hundreds of YEM advocates from government agencies, academe, youth groups, trade unions, employers’ groups and the development community.

The joint UN programme funded by the MDG-F, “Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth”, works on two fronts: increasing access to decent jobs for young men and women in the country’s poorest areas; and improving policies on youth employment and migration by encouraging the participation of all stakeholders in the process. Its aim is to help the Philippines achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty, promoting gender equality and developing a global partnership for development by the target date of 2015.

So far, the Joint Programme has provided training and materials on entrepreneurship, life skills and safe migration to teachers, out of school youth, local partner organizations and thousands of secondary schools in the provinces of Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur. Nearly 300 at-risk high school students have been given educational subsidies to reduce drop-out rates in public schools.

The participating UN agencies, ILO, IOM, UNICEF and UNFPA, work with national government agencies, provincial governments, employers’ and business organizations, the private sector, NGOs, and workers’ and youth organizations.

Click here to read more about MDG-F's work in the Philippines.

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