Thousands looking for work pack Labor Day job fairs
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 34,359 jobseekers across the country attended the different job fairs organized by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in commemoration of Labor Day on Tuesday, May 1.
At the end of the day, 4,304 (20.9%) of the thousands of applicants were hired on the spot, while 20,622 are qualified for positions and are set to undergo the hiring processes of the companies said a DOLE report.
Job fairs were held at the Quezon City Hall, Valenzuela Astrodome, Vista Mall, Tuktukan Taguig, Muntinlupa City Quadrangle and Manila City Hall, as well as in the cities of Iloilo, Cebu and Davao.
Among the crowd in Quezon City was Jose Acodile, a 48-year-old applicant with disability. He lost his left leg in 1984 as a driver. While, according to him, using an artificial leg does not hinder him from performing various jobs, looking for a work that would accept him was another problem altogether.
At the job fair in Quezon City, there were no special lanes for persons with disability (PWD) like him.
"Apply lang ng apply. Mahirap maging PWD. Pero kailangan magtrabaho sa hirap ng buhay ngayon. Kaya lakas loob ako, kasi hindi naman hadlang sa akin itong kapansanan ko. Sana lang magkaroon ng kahit konting pansin sa mga tulad namin, magtratrabaho naman kami para sa kanila, at kapalit non yung kailangan namin para mabuhay," Acodile told Rappler in an interview.
(Just keep applying. It's hard having a disability, but we need to work for a living. That's why I took this opportunity to look for a job. I just hope that they'll give a litte priority for people like me who have disabilities, because we're also willing to work for them in exchange for a livelihood.)
Everyone was treated equally at the job fair. NCR labor and employment regional director Henry Jalbuena said that even workers from Kuwait needed to line up in looking for a job.
"We don't have special lane for workers from Kuwait, all they have to do is to check job offers that suit for them. This is open to all," said Jalbuena said in a mix of Filipino and English.
He also encouraged jobseekers to apply in different companies as many as possible to get a high chance of being hired.
Vocational graduate Angelica Oronan, 20 years old, felt dismayed about the qualifications set during the fair.
"Madali nga ang proseso sa job fair kesa sa mga mismong agency pero mahirap naman mag-apply dahil sa mga qualifications. May height limit, age limit kaya pili lang talaga ang pwede. Tsagaan lang rin, para magkatrabaho," said Oronan.
(Though applying in job fairs is less tedious than going to an agency, it's still tough because of the qualifications. They have a height limit, age limit and so few qualify. We just have to keep trying harder to find work.)
For parents like Rex and Flor Alerta, the venue of the this year's job fair was a bit small because big number of applicants. The venues of previous fairs were also bigger.
"Dati kasi maayos tignan, ngayon parang magulo, masikip yung lugar para sa dami ng naghahanap ng trabaho. Hindi kami makasugod kasi siksikan at mainit masyado. Sana sa susunod ay mas malaking pwesto," said Mrs. Alerta.
(The place was cramped and there were just too many job applicants. We could hardly move because of the crowd and the heat. They should hold it in a bigger plac next time.)
On May 1, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order that prohibited illegal contracting/subcontracting or endo. However, labor groups were not appeased, saying that the EO did not include a key provision from the draft proposal of labor groups which mandated direct hiring of employees
"I hope endo will truly stop because it's hard when you're not sure if you still have a job for the next months or if you'll be able to find a good job afterwards," Oronan said in Filipino.
Meanwhile, DOLE Undersecretary Claro Arellano ensured the public that the department will continue to provide good programs and services to the Filipino workers.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) graduates offered free massage and haircut during the fair.
Here are some photos in the DOLE Job Fair in Quezon City Hall: