3,000 get hired on the spot at job fairs
MANILA, Philippines—Almost 3,000 job seekers were hired on the spot at job fairs sponsored by the government across the country on Thursday to mark International Labor Day.
According to data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), as of 4 p.m., 2,788 applicants had been hired on the spot at the job fairs.
The figure was 13.5 percent of the 20,718 applicants who registered and qualified for local and overseas employment, the DOLE said.
The annual average hired-on-the-spot figure is 15 percent.
Last year, the figure reached 16 percent, with 20,905 of 127,880 registered job seekers getting hired immediately.
DOLE spokesman Nicon Fameronag said Thursday’s figure was not final.
He said the labor department was confident it could meet the annual average after the numbers from all the regions had come in.
“We always remain optimistic because the usual trend is we are below the target early on but as the day goes on, we are able to have more [job seekers hired on the spot],” Fameronag said.
Thursday’s figures included 14,575 job seekers considered for further interviews by prospective employers.
Of those job seekers, 11,856 applied for local jobs and 2,719 for overseas jobs.
Dealing with unemployment
According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the job fairs were not a band-aid solution to the high jobless rate, as they were organized to deal with the unemployment problem.
Among the job seekers hired on the spot, 1,779 were for local jobs and 485 were for jobs abroad.
Those immediately hired at job fairs are mostly employed locally as factory workers and sales staff, according to Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Tutay.
As for those hired for overseas jobs, the usual destinations are Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Taiwan, she said.
A total of 140,338 vacancies were offered by 610 local and overseas employers in 69 job fairs conducted in all 16 regions, except in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Among the jobs offered were in cyberservices, information technology, call centers, hotels and restaurants, tourism, health, wholesale and retail trade, construction, automotive, real estate, banking, finance, insurance and cargo.
In Naga City, Camarines Sur province, government-assisted groups and the military set up their own booths to encourage job seekers to go into small businesses as an alternative source of income.
Cecil Andalis, DOLE coordinator in Camarines Sur, said setting up small livelihood enterprises that use locally available raw materials was a good way of generating jobs.
Among those who took part in the fair were women’s groups from Baao and Buhi towns that make bags and accessories using water hyacinth cloth and abaca.
Lt. Col. Perfecto Peñaredondo, assistant chief of staff for personnel of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said the military booth offered young people the opportunity to serve in the military.
Lt. Col. Lenart Lelina, commanding officer of the 42nd Infantry Battalion, said his unit’s booth tried to encourage youngsters to join the military service through the Philippine Military Academy.
For typhoon survivors
In typhoon-devastated Palo town, Leyte province, 10,000 jobs were offered at the DOLE-sponsored job fair.
Of those jobs, 7,400 were overseas, offered by 203 recruitment agencies, Exequiel Sarcauga, DOLE director for Eastern Visayas, said.
The rest were local jobs offered by 80 companies, he said.
Sarcauga said his department was aiming for the 15-percent average for on-the-spot hiring.
“It’s not easy. The applicants should be qualified and have the necessary documents for them to be hired on the spot,” he said.
Labor officials said at least 7,000 job seekers had visited the fair as of 11 a.m. They said they were expecting more would come before the fair closed at 5 p.m.
Jollibee at the fair
One of the companies that took part in the fair was the fast-food chain Jollibee, which has a branch at the Robinson’s shopping mall in Tacloban City.
Branch official Hansel Tengzon said Jollibee’s participation in the job fair indicated that it would continue to operate in Tacloban City despite the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year.
“We are still very optimistic that Tacloban remains a good place to do business,” Tengzon said.—With reports from Shiena M. Barrameda, Inquirer Southern Luzon; and Joey A. Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas
Originally posted at 7:27 pm | Friday, May 2, 2014