Employment for Abdul and Habib PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 July 2014 11:47



The UNDP is pursuing the goal of ending absolute poverty for the millions of people in the world who are now in this condition. It believes that sustainable development will bring this about and it listed some of the variables that are needed to make this happen. Among the many variables listed are two which caught my attention because of how these two are directly related to the situation in Zamboanga City  but this is not to say that the other variables are not related. The two variables are security and employment.

Even before the September 9 attack on our city security was already an issue. The regular killings, the kidnappings, the drug problem,  the frequent hold-ups and the “encounters” between government forces and rebel groups – these were regular events in our city and the nearby areas. Some of  the city’s  decision-makers  were somewhat in denial mode, saying that these aspects were simply attributed to but were not genuine features of the city.  After September 9 and with the No Te Vayas de Zamboanga campaign there is now acceptance that the situation is  such.  Else why should people have to be urged NOT to move away from the city.

Many of the Bangsamoro members in Mindanao are among those who fall in the “absolute poverty” category. The Bangsamoro leadership if it wants to help the absolutely poor will need to consider very seriously how to address the security problem of Zamboanga City even if it is not a part of the Bangsamoro  Entity when this will eventually become a reality.  ZC is the lynchpin in the economy of the Zampen and of the southern islands. If ZC stagnates so will these other  areas. It is for the good of all – Bangsamoro people and those who are not- that ZC has a thriving and robust economy. And this will be determined to a great extent by the peace and order situation in the city and its environs.

When the economy is going well there will be more jobs for those who have the skills and knowledge that are called for. Employment generation should however target all who have the qualifications. The goal to expand employment should be inclusive. This is not an easy thing to do.

Many of the Bangsamoro youth attend schools that are even lower in standards than the average public school in the country. The reasons for this are too many and too complicated to discuss in this piece.  However, it is the intent of the CAB to address this problem and it is my dearest wish that this will be  done systematically.   What can be done with the thousands of  Bangsamoro youth  who graduate every year from the elementary and high school tracks of our educational system  but who  have not acquired even the most basic marketable skills for them to be employed?  They then become the breeding ground for activities that are counterproductive to efforts to prod the economy forward.

Add to this the fact that when your name is Abdul or Habib your chances for being shortlisted for a job are significantly decreased. This is something that all of us must think about in our efforts to create an inclusive and harmonious society.