BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Businessman Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez is optimistic with the start of a new year that there will be more jobs and investments for this highly-urbanized provincial capital of more than 600,000 people.
Benitez, who had just arrived from the People’s Republic of China where he joined the State visit of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, held his first presser for the year yesterday and sounded upbeat about the economic prospects for the city that had been affected by the COVID pandemic.
The chief executive, who also met over the weekend with other local officials to plan for 2023, said he expects at least 15,000 local jobs as soon as construction starts for the city’s mass housing project.
The Philippine Statistics Authority had reported last year that the unemployment rate here was recorded at 5.4 percent based on its 2020 Labor Force Statistics.
Benitez said the construction of 10,000 mass housing units by WRS Holdings, Inc through a public-private partnership is expected to bring about 15,000 jobs.
The businessman-mayor also said he met officials of big Chinese firms who might be interested to invest here.
Benitez added officials of China Railway Construction Corporation that have expressed interest early into his term to invest here.