TACLOBAN CITY — At least 239 out of 2,096 job seekers were hired on the spot during the Labor Day jobs fair in this city, the Department of Labor and Employment reported Tuesday.
Some 263 workers were nearly hired while 1,294 applicants were found to be qualified. The total number of applicants is only 30 percent of the 7,000 jobs offered to workers.
DOLE assistant regional director Cecilio Baleña urged those who were unqualified to undergo skills training and business opportunities.
Baleña said many of those who came to the jobs fair are new graduates while some are underpaid employees.
Such is the case of Remedios Venit, 26, an education graduate from La Paz, Leyte, who used to be a contractual pre-elementary teacher with small income. She came to try her luck as factory worker in Saudi Arabia. Being a single mother, she needs a job to support her two children.
“It’s good that there are events like this because I am assured of job items and recruiters are legitimate. I badly need job for my two children,” Venit said.
Rubilyn Torres, 19, a senior high school graduate from Dagami, Leyte was looking for a job to support her college education.
“I came because I need a temporary job to finance my college education expenses. My parents have no financial capability to support my education,” Torres said.
Both of them were not hired on the spot, but qualified to work based on job interviews.
Baleña thanked local government units and other partners for bringing job seekers to the employment fair.
“The job fair matched the jobseekers and employers, particularly in identified industries where skills are highly in-demand. This is one way to honor our workers on Labor Day,” Baleña added.
For local jobs, participating employers are hardware stores, retail shops, hotels and restaurants, malls, sales and marketing, financial institutions, private school, hospital, information technology firm, and national government agencies.
“Those who are not lucky to fill the job vacancies, we would like to invite you to look for other possibilities. Start a new business. There are many who failed to land a job, but succeeded in running their business,” said Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Cynthia Nierras.
The DTI led the business fair during the event where they organized an exhibit of government-assisted businesses and conduct orientations for those who want to manage a business.
“I would like also to ask our partner agency members to help us advocate the same, help us to ensure that all our citizens in Region 8 may be able to get a decent source of livelihood. They can support the needs of their families and for everybody in the community, because when you go to business you also hire people,” Nierras added.
During the event, DOLE also released PHP6.95 million livelihood grants to nine local government units and private organizations.
The region, composed of the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar, has a workforce of about 2 million. Its employment rate stands at 96.3 percent as of last January.
Although jobless rate is low at only 3.7 percent, underemployment rate remains high at 19.4 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The PSA defines underemployed as “employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.” PNA