Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.  This article was published in Business Mirror, April 7 , 2006 edition, p. A10.

Dear Secretary Peter Favila,

You have made a believer out of me. Had you not said, “I don’t think people would complain of unemployment if they’d just get the jobs that are available for now,” I would’ve never even imagined that the fault lay with the unemployed.

Your colleague in the Cabinet, Patricia Sto.Tomas of the Department of Labor, substantiated your contention that there are more jobs than willing workers. She said more than a million jobs will be generated in 2006–2007 and those who are willing to work will find exactly 329,609 job openings in agri-business, 148,350 in cyber services and 56,001 in hotels and restaurants.

Thanks to you both, I can now appreciate your statement, “We have plenty of jobs available in the country today, but the problem is some Filipinos are just pihikan or choosy.”

The example about call centers being forced to hire “second- and third-tier students to fill up their manpower requirements” because nobody likes to work the graveyard shift proved to me, beyond reasonable doubt, that there is a difference between being unemployed and being jobless. I no longer believe that there is a connection between high unemployment and job availability.

I regret ever falling for the line of rabble rousers like Teddy Casiño who said, “It’s not that Filipinos are choosy, there are just not enough jobs and not enough qualified people for the small number of jobs available.” I should have known his statement would be based on “facts” and “statistics” provided by an organization called LEARN (Labor Education and Research Network). The acronym alone should have alerted me to the group’s seditious goal of educating workers to believe their government is anti-labor and anti-poor.

Mr. Secretary, I know that you and Patricia Sto. Tomas are not like those Filipinos whom you described as having “a tendency to aspire to be the vice president immediately upon hiring or they want to be able to pick the time and place of work.”  I’m sure neither of you will “just wait till their ideal job falls on their lap.”

I know that like everyone in Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s administration, the two of you practice what you preach. I’m certain that when you return to the private sector you will set an example for those pihikan Filipinos and take the first available job. So I’m happy to inform you that your first available job will be waiting for you when you leave this administration or when this administration leaves, whichever comes first.

You will not start in your new job as vice presidents but I know you are not picky and you will have no problem starting at the bottom, my bottom. I need someone to wipe my ass.

I will pay a premium for your services because both of you are college graduates with impressive resumes.  I will provide you with a clean working environment. I need a couple of people to shovel manure from my stables.  You are perfect for the job.  Shoveling manure is a skill that you and company have perfected in Malacañang.  But I have a lot of horses, and that means one of you will have to work the graveyard shift.  But that won’t be a problem for those who practice what they preach, right?

Look at it this way, I will be giving you something more than just time on your hands. And twice daily at the very least.