By ALDWIN G. QUITASOL
“I think he is an entertainer. I would prefer if he were a performer.” — Carol Bellamy on child exploitation
While tourists again enjoy the parades, landscape displays, exhibits and other shows in the 2009 flower festival, a mother of a public elementary school pupil laments in Ilocano: “Hay, Panagbenga manen, praktis a praktis diay anak ko nga agsala para idiay parade ket ti problema, aggastosak para iti icostume na ken ti balon ken plete na kada agpraktis”. (hay it is Panagbenga again, my child is always at practice for the parade dance. The problem is I have to spend for the costume, snack and fare every practice.)
Since the Panagbenga business started here in Baguio, students were the best “resource capital”. They are already being trained to do the hard work of entertain foreign and local tourists to the benefit of the tourism industry. They let the carpet roll for pure commercial profit. Can they also be called “ isang tipo ng bagong bayani”, for they also help lift the economy just like the OFW sacrificial lambs the GMA administration is claiming.
And what will these poor children get in return? none. They can get good grades from the first day they went into practicing the street dance steps of distorted and vulgar choreographed traditional cultural dances; until the so-called performance day to amaze both local and foreign tourists.
In the process, they already missed the essence of going to school, to earn knowledge and use it for their future. And for sure, they do not have any idea that that their month-long child-labor of advertising and advancing business and tourism in the city has been taken for free – stolen. Their experience? They have merely been prepared for their future lives where they will soon be the next generation of complacent workers unfairly paid for their hard labor?
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The International Labor Organization reports three scenarios of global unemployment. Based on current labour market trends, the first scenario would mean that the global unemployment rate may rise to 6.1 per cent in 2009, and 198 million people will be unemployed. This is an increase of 18 million over the estimated number of unemployed in 2007.
The second scenario is based on the historical relationship between economic growth and unemployment at times of economic crises. In this scenario, the negative impact on unemployment is taken in each country at the time of the largest year-on-year drop in GDP, and this relationship is used to project global and regional unemployment for 2009.
This scenario becomes more realistic if the economic outlook would deteriorate beyond what was envisaged in November 2008, it takes more time for financial markets to stabilize, for government interventions to have a positive impact, and for business and consumer confidence to be restored.
As shown in Figure 5, according to the second scenario, the global unemployment rate would rise to 6.5 per cent, an increase of 0.8 percentage points over 2007. This would correspond to an increase of the global number of unemployed by 30 million people in comparison with 2007. The largest negative impact on the unemployment rate is seen in the Developed Economies and the European Union, where the unemployment rate would rise to 7.1 per cent. This rate translates into an additional 7 million people in 2009 over 2007 in this group of economies, two million more than in the first scenario.
Finally, in the third scenario, the unemployment rate is projected in each country as the rate in 2008 plus the largest change in unemployment since 1991 in the Developed Economies and the European Union and half of the largest increase in economies in other regions. In other words, the scenario shows what would happen if the worst impact on the unemployment rate would repeat itself simultaneously in all developed economies.
The rationale for taking half of the worst impact in economies in other regions is that in developing economies the main impact of the current crisis is not necessarily reflected in the unemployment rate. The impact as captured in the vulnerable employment rate and changes in working poverty may be equally important. #