Thank you very much for your interest in this topic. Indeed, the jobs challenge facing the Philippines is very daunting. The country's long history of policy distortions, characterized by low investments, insecurity of property rights, lack of competition, and complex regulations, which some of you have mentioned, has slowed the growth of agriculture and manufacturing--the two sectors which can provide jobs to the poor.
There is no simple and effortless way to address this jobs challenge, as this is linked to deep-seated, structural issues in the economy. Only a comprehensive reform agenda implemented across a range of sectors can foster a business environment conducive to private sector job creation by firms of all sizes. This also means that government alone cannot fully address this problem. The private sector also has a big role to play.
Fortunately, a unique window of opportunity exists today to accelerate reforms that will help create more and better jobs. All of us--that is the government, business, and labor, with the support of civil society--need to work it out and agree on an agenda on job creation.
Thanks also to all who monitored and joined the online chat on jobs!