Saturday, 2 May 2009

Philippine Gov't sponsored job fair draws huge crowd of jobseekers on Labor Day

MANILA (PNAFeatures) -- The Mall of Asia was jampacked with people than any other streets in Metro Manila on Labor Day, as an estimated 30,000 jobseekers lined up to find employment in what the Philippines call the biggest jobfair: Jobapalooza '09.

“The skills and talents of our workers at home and abroad are confounding the gloomy forecasts of pessimists, as they continue to seek out ever more jobs, remit more funds to our shores and sustain the hopes of our country and the dreams of their families,” President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her speech honoring Filipino workers on Labor Day.

A total of 1,677 local employers and recruitment agencies joined the jobs fair held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said that 830 employers offered a total of 45,776 local jobs while 847 recruitment firms posted 173,204 job vacancies abroad.

A total of 200,000 local and overseas jobs were offered nationwhide, as regional Jobapalooza were consequently held in various sites in all the country's 16 regions.

In Metro Manila, jobseekers lined up MOA's SMX as early as 5 a.m., two hours before the fair kicked off, and initial figures said over 7,000 were hired on the spot.

The DoLE is yet to release offocial reports as to the nationwide results on the number of applicants who sought instant employment upon attendance in Jobapalooza, but Undersecretary Luz Padilla said that the pre registration launched by DoLE and premier IT academe STI, garnered 20,000 registrants as of April 30.

The employers have sifted through their qualifications even before the fair, so most of them have been evaluated, could be on final interview (in MOA) or are starting really soon, she said.

Pre-matching is the primary aim of DoLE and Jobapalooza organizers because jobs mismatch has haunted previous jobfairs in the country, making it less successful than they intended.

But Padilla said that this has been succesasful this year, they have really brought employment closer to jobseekers through the resume-database caravan which had been making rounds in various schools and public places where jobseekers could be.

DoLE's Jobapalooza is an effort put up by private sectors, the labor unions for the workers, especially the new entrants to the labor force and those affected by the global economic crisis.

As more people responded to the opportunity, meanwhile some 4,500 militants marched to Mendiola to air their grievances and petitions such as the 125 across the board wage hike.

The militants from the left-leaning Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) belittled the event saying it would do little to address supposedly massive layoffs and rising unemployment.

Protesting against what they called as anti-labor policies of the government, the militants, particularly the 300 from Global Call to Action Against Poverty, surprised the police when they popped up on Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang at about 4 a.m. of Friday.

The rallies, though caused minor tension, had been generally peaceful, according to police.

Employers themselves pleaded workers to hold off requests for salary hike saying it will be more destructive, as more firms will be forced to close operations hence massive lay offs and untimely retrenchment.

The crisis has so far affected the global laborforce, but experts say the situation in the country is less shocking than those in the United States and European nations where jobs are lost from left to right.

Despite having the highest minimum wage in Southeast Asian region, the Philippines continues to be preferred by foreign investors.

Labor Day this year is a timely occasion for the nation to celebrate the resiliency of our economy that has so far protected us from the worst of the global recession and allowed us to continue to grow.

One of the sunshine industries bannered during Jobapalooza, call center firms experienced growth giving Filipinos option for better paying employment.

“A grateful government pledges its unwavering support to the great Filipino worker and the bright future that our workers are building for our country,” the chief executive said.

Roque said there are signs companies hurt by the global economic slowdown are beginning to recover, and assured the government will continue to focus on creating new jobs.

The jobs fair “marked the collective action and mutual collaboration of social partners in helping the workers find jobs” in order to alleviate the impact of the global financial crisis on the workers and their families, Roque said.

The agency hopes to repeat on June 12, Independence Day, the simultaneous job fairs it conducted yesterday with the private sector and local governments.(PNA)

1 comment:

  1. this is good news for the Filipino jobseekers.